This recipe is adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours
I firmly believe that there are two things – bacon and creamy half & half – that will turn vegephobes into vegetable fans. Even cauliflower. This is a relatively simple dish that works as a side for a nice dinner or (as I tried it) as the lone vegetable at a cookout last night (it goes great with chicken burgers!).
Butter for the baking dish
1 cauliflower (a medium head, about 2 1/2 pounds or so)
1/4 pound bacon, cut crosswise into slender strips
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 2/3 cup half & half
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg
3 ounces Gruyère
- Preheat the oven to 425° F.
- Butter a 3-quart ovenproof dish (if you’re working with a smaller casserole dish, place it on a baking pan while it’s cooking in case it spills over.
- Steam cauliflower florets until they are fork-tender – I cut mine so they were bite-sized, but this is open to interpretation. Just make sure they are as uniform as you can get with cauliflower so they cook evenly. Depending on the size, it will take 5-10 minutes.
- When cauliflower is done, rinse it under cool water to stop the cooking then drain and pat dry.
- While the cauliflower is cooking, toss the bacon strips into a heavy skillet, place the skillet over medium heat, and cook just until the bacon is browned but not crisp. Drain and pat dry.
- Spread the cauliflower in the buttered pan and scatter the bacon over the top.
- Place the flour in a bowl and whisk in the eggs slowly. Next mix in the half & half, then add salt, pepper, and nutmeg and about 2/3 of the cheese.
- Pour the mixture over the cauliflower and bacon, shaking the pan a little so that the liquid settles between the florets. Scatter the remaining cheese over the top.
- Bake for about 25 minutes, or until puffed and golden on top, and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.