Cauliflower can be a tricky vegetable. It can be incredibly bland if you only boil it and serve it like that. Well, sometimes, when I don’t have much time, I like to boil cauliflower and simply eat it with yoghurt. But this dish is extremely rich in flavour with a softened texture.
This gratin might be cauliflower at its best. Well, at least, one of the best. The best part is that the ingredients are very easy to find in a kitchen, nothing hard to find, and it is pretty fast and easy to make.
The most important part of the recipe is to not boil the cauliflower florets to a highly soft point. You need to boil them only until they are slightly tender because there will be 45-minutes of baking after boiling. If you have too soft florets after boiling, they will become almost mashed after baking. You may like this way too, but I feel it is much nicer to have a bit more texture than mashed vegetables.
On the other hand, when you reheat the leftovers, the cauliflower will get even softer no matter what you do. So I say it’s better to start with not-too-soft florets. In any case, it’s going to be delicious, though. Enjoy your new dish!
vegetable/olive oil to grease the oven dish
1 large cauliflower, cut into florets (the florets weigh 845 gr)
1+1.5 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2.5 dl (or 1 cup) milk
1.25 dl (or 1/2 cup) olive oil
2.5 dl (or 1 cup) plain yoghurt*
1.25 dl (or 1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 heaped tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 dl (or 1/3 cup** + 4 tsp) finely chopped chives
(you can optionally add 1-2 tsp of red pepper flakes to make the gratin spicy)
to put on top:
2 dl (or 3/4 cup + 4 tsp or 80 gr) grated cheese
to serve, optional:
a handful of chopped chives
*You can use plain Turkish or Greek yoghurt. However, I used Kotimaista carton yoghurt, and it is slightly more fluid, and I like its texture. I also wanted to use no-fat yoghurt.
**I’m using measurement conversions in this link.
- Preheat the oven to 200C. Grease your oven dish generously (my oven dish is 2 litres round dish).
2. In a large pan, put the cauliflower florets and 1 tsp salt, and add 2 litres of water. Put the pan on medium-high heat and let the florets boil until they are slightly tender (check with a fork, if you can stick the fork without putting too much effort, you are done, don’t boil too much). Strain the florets and set them aside.
3. In a large bowl, put eggs, milk, olive oil and yoghurt and whisk well.
4. Add flour, baking powder, cumin, salt and pepper and whisk well.
5. Add chives and whisk well.
6. Add the well-strained and slightly cooled cauliflower florets into the milk mixture. Using a spoon, mix it all, coating all the florets with the mixture.
7. Transfer cauliflower with the milk mixture into the greased oven dish. Make sure that the mixture is evenly spread inside the dish. Put in the medium part of the oven and bake for 35 minutes.
8. After 35 minutes, take the gratin out of the oven and cover the whole surface with grated cheese. Put the gratin back in the oven, medium part, and bake for 10 more minutes, until all the cheese melts and the surface is lightly browned. Serve immediately. You can optionally put some chopped chives on each portion. I recommend serving the gratin with a light salad. Enjoy!