Cauliflower Gratin with Toasted Almond Crust

The past couple of weeks have been a little stressful for me. Between travel, social commitments and crazy things happening at work, I didn’t have much time or energy to cook. This is a problem. It’s a problem because shopping at the market, being in the kitchen and cooking actually relieves stress for me. The longer I go without doing those things, the more stressed I get.

I was so happy when the weekend finally arrived because it meant that I could actually do a little bit of each. Saturday morning, I got up super early, found a comfy spot in the corner of the couch, and proceeded to map out a meal plan for the entire week using all of the recipe clippings binders I’d piled up around me. When I came upon this recipe I’d torn out of Southern Living last winter, it struck a chord. Comfort food. I’d had a rough week and I needed comforting. Mmmm, I could almost taste the gooey cheese and the crunch of the topping.

Most of the ingredients are staples in my kitchen, so I only had to add two things to my grocery list- the cauliflower and the whipping cream. Although the original recipe called for Gruyere cheese, I had some Fontina on hand that I needed to use up, and since it’s also a good melting cheese, I figured it would work fine. And so it did. Oh my goodness, once the gratin was out of the oven, it was all I could do to restrain myself from digging in right away! But I was strong. I let it cool down before taking my first bite, because  a burnt mouth is no good to anyone. However, once I did have a bite, I literally had to force myself to stop eating. That’s the reason I’ve changed the yield from “6” to “4-6” because if you’re anything like me, you won’t be able to resist a bigger portion either!

Cauliflower Gratin with Toasted Almond Crust

Serves 4-6. Adapted from Southern Living.


1/4 cup butter

1 head cauliflower (about 2 1/4 lb) separated into florets and chopped

1 small onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 Tbsp all purpose white whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup whipping cream

1 cup shredded Fontina cheese (or Gruyere)

2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/4 cup sliced almonds

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 400. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower and next 2 ingredients; sauté 10 minutes or until golden and just tender. Sprinkle with flour and next 2 ingredients; stir well. Remove from heat.

Spoon cauliflower mixture into an 11" x 7" baking dish, and drizzle with cream. Sprinkle with Fontina cheese and next 3 ingredients. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes or until golden.