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Cauliflower Gratin with Endive

Oft-overlooked cauliflower is elevated to bubbling, golden-brown heights when paired with Belgian endive and small pasta shapes, then covered in a rich sauce. Gruyere and fresh breadcrumbs top the gratin. Coarse gratings of Parmesan are the rustic finish to this baked dish.

  • servings: 8

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for dish
  • 2 heads Belgian endive, cut lengthwise into sixths
  • 1 cup fregola Sarda (semolina pasta) or Israeli (large pearl) couscous
  • 2 large heads cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into florets
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh marjoram or oregano
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups finely grated (about 10 ounces) Gruyere cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup coarsely grated (about 2 ounces) Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in lower third. Butter a 1 1/2-quart, deep, wide ovenproof dish. Put endive in bottom of dish. Arrange pasta or couscous over endive. Top with cauliflower.

  2. Step 2

    Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Whisk in milk; cook, whisking, until mixture thickens, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in marjoram, salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Whisk in Gruyere until smooth. Pour over cauliflower. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Set dish on a baking sheet.

  3. Step 3

    Bake 30 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees; bake until cauliflower is tender, about 40 minutes. (If browning too quickly, tent with foil.) Transfer to a wire rack; let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, November 2006

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Reviews (7)

  • Yashi M 23 Nov, 2013

    Delicious! Because gruyere can be quite expensive, I used half gruyere and half jarlsberg cheese.

    Yes, put the couscous in uncooked - there is plenty of liquid for it to absorb. One time I didn't have couscous so I used uncooked orzo and it was equally delicious.

    You cannot substitute 'endive' for 'belgian endive' - they share a word but are completely different. 'Endive' is a curly leafy green, while belgian endive is similar to cabbage in that it is collection of very tight leaves.

  • jgs1jgs2 19 Nov, 2008

    this looks wonderful. do you cook the pasta/couscous first? does it receive enough moisture without mixing it?

  • keleighs 22 Oct, 2008

    I made this for Thanksgiving last year. However I mixed the cauliflower, endive, fregola sarda and cheese mixtures together and then topped with parmesan and breadcrumbs because it didn't really work layerd as the recipes dictates. It was delicious!

  • vancvan 22 Nov, 2007

    I tried this for Thanksgiving and it was absolutely delicious!!! I'm a beginner cook and this recipe was definitely manageable. This will be on I make again in the near future.

  • aidansmom316 21 Nov, 2007

    can i prepare this dish a day in advance? and then reheat it?

  • carriek320 19 Nov, 2007

    Can regular endive be used? Is Belgian endive difficult to find?

  • K_Antosh 13 Nov, 2007

    This looks delicious and easy, and not your average side dish! I'm going to try it for Thanksgiving.