This Cooking for Twosday, I poured some creamy and cheesy sauce over some of my favorite veggies to bring you Cauliflower Asparagus Gratin – a make-ahead dinner for two, or a side for the whole family.
Okay, I know I’ve been slacking. The truth is, it’s been a crazy month. I won’t bore you with all the details. All you need to know is that I went to Disneyland. Woo woo!
Gratin is a French word, and it describes a dish that has a golden crust on top, usually from breadcrumbs, cheese, and butter or eggs. I nixed the butter and eggs in this dish, because it’s already delicious as it is, but I’m still calling it a gratin because that’s just how I roll.
- cooking spray
- Kosher salt
- 3 cups cauliflower florets (from a 1½ lb head)
- 1½ cups asparagus (about ⅔ lb), trimmed and cut into thirds
- 2 tbsp butter
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour (see notes)
- 2 cups half & half, room temperature
- ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp dried parsley
- freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup shredded sharp yellow cheddar
- ¾ cup shredded parmesan, divided
- 1 tbsp panko bread crumbs (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8 x 11 glass or baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a 3 quart pot, boil water and add a pinch of salt. Add cauliflower and asparagus.* Boil about 7 minutes, until tender. Drain.
- In the meantime, melt butter in a large nonstick pan over low heat. Add flour and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until incorporated, 3 minutes. (Don't rush this step, otherwise your dish will taste like raw flour.) Add half & half, stir, then increase heat to medium. Bring to a boil, and boil 3-4 minutes, stirring often, until thickened. Remove from heat. Add nutmeg, parsley, pinch of pepper, and 1 tsp salt. Stir. Sprinkle in cheddar cheese and ½ cup parmesan in increments, and stir to combine.
- Pour one-third of mixture into bottom of pan. Top evenly with cauliflower and asparagus. Top with remaining mixture, then remaining ¼ cup parmesan. Sprinkle with panko. Bake 25-30 minutes, until bubbling and lightly golden on top. Let sit for 5 minutes, then dig in!
*Thick asparagus will need to be added to the boiling water with the cauliflower. Add thin asparagus 4 minutes after cauliflower.
To make-ahead: After assembling ingredients in pan, cover and refrigerate until ready to bake.
Use more of your half & half in some Easy Corn Chowder.