Cauliflower and Potato Gratin with Crème Frâiche
Here is a quick, easy and delicious dish to make with cauliflower and potatoes. Vegetables are so beautiful. They lend themselves to many preparations and because of their seasonality, you never get bored with them. By the time you have cooked one in a number of different ways their season is up and a new vegetable prevails at the market. Having said that, of course I know that in the supermarkets you get more or less the same veggies all year round. Some veggies I never buy out of season (asparagus, green beans, artichokes) but some I do. One of the year-round veggies is cauliflower so this is a dish you can make any time without sacrificing much in quality.
To make it you need to cut the cauliflower into small florets and cut the potatoes into similar size chunks. I prefer to pre-cook the potatoes (steam them) so they can finish cooking at the same time as the quick-cooking cauliflower. All you need to do is heat up olive oil in a skillet, add the cauliflower florets and cook until golden in spots, then add the potatoes and finish the cooking so both vegetables are done, crisp and golden on the outside, soft and tender inside.
To make it a gratin pile the veggies into a pretty shallow bowl (not flat) to create a lot of “real estate” for the topping, drizzle with crème fraiche and scatter bread crumbs mixed with grated cheese on top. Into the oven at 400℉ for a few minutes to crisp the topping and there you have it, a lovely cauliflower and potato gratin. Just beautiful.
By the way the beautiful Busatti linen tea towel in the image is from Inspirati fine linen for everyday in Calgary, a linen store carrying gorgeous lines of Italian and other European linens. A must stop.
1 small cauliflower
4 new potatoes
3 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, optional
1/2 cup creme fraiche
1/2 cup grated cheese or combination of cheeses: parmesan, gruyere, pecorino
1 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs
Break the cauliflower into small florets
Steam the potatoes over boiling water until tender. Drain and cool, then cut into chunks of equal size to the cauliflower florets.
Heat oil in a skillet, add shallot and cook until soft, a couple of minutes.
Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
Add cauliflower florets and cook, stirring , until florets begin to get browned in spots.
Add the potatoes and mix with the cauliflower.
Add salt and pepper and thyme.
When both cauliflower and the potatoes are nice and golden remove from skillet and spoon into a gratin dish. I prefer to use dishes that are not too deep and are slightly small for the quantity so the vegetables end up piled in it rather than spread out flat in the dish.
Drizzle creme fraiche over the vegetables.
To make the bread crumbs place a few pieces of day old bread in a food processor and pulse until bread turns into coarse crumbs.
Combine bread crumbs and cheese and sprinkle over the vegetables.
Place in a preheated 400℉ oven and cook until topping is golden.