Gratins have always been a favorite dish of mine. Perfect to cure those long winter blues with creamy cheesy potatoes! Nothing says comfort like potatoes and I would choose them over dessert every single time! The best part of gratins though are the versatility they allow. You can sub any vegetable and get great results. In an attempt to sneak more vegetables in my little guys diet I find it easier and less drama if I hide them first!
Enter this cauliflower parsnip gratin. He already loves cauliflower so that one is easy but show him a parsnip and he thinks I’ve done some shady magic on his beloved carrots leaving them colorless and scary! Now its time for the mom and dad wave of the wand and you hide those parsnips in a béchamel!
Cauliflower baked in a cheesy parsnip sauce and topped with herbed bread crumbs.
- 2 large whole head cauliflower cut into florets
- 4 regular parsnips peeled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 cups milk warmed
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg fresh grated
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper ground
- 1/4 teaspoon dried mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 1/4 cup chives minced
- 1 1/2 cups fontina cheese shredded
- 1 1/2 cups gruyere cheese shredded
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon fennel fronds chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Bring large pot of salted water to a boil over medium high heat. Add cauliflower and decrease heat to a slow boil. Cook for 8 minutes or until just tender. Drain cauliflower and remove to a large bowl and set aside.
Return water to a boil and add parsnips. Cook for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In medium sized saucepan add butter and garlic over medium heat. Cook until butter is melted and garlic is fragrant. Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes stirring frequently. Whisk in warm milk and stir continuously until mixture is thickened. Add drained cooked parsnips and blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in remaining parsnip cheese sauce ingredients. Stirring until cheese is melted.
Pour parsnip cheese mixture over cauliflower and gently toss until cauliflower is well coated. Pour mixture into a 4 quart casserole dish.
In small bowl combine all ingredients for the topping. Stir well and spoon evenly over cauliflower. Bake for 20 minutes. If topping starts to brown too quickly cover with tin foil. Serve immediately