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I collect old cook books, and sometime I make the first recipe I flip to that I have all the ingredients for. This time I picked a creamy gratin of cauliflower, which I improvised on a bit. Makes a satisfying side dish, or even a vegetarian main dish. The recipe I've posted is my variation on the Scalloped Cauliflower recipe from "The American Woman's Cook Book" published in 1942. You can use any ratio of cauliflower and broccoli - you'll need about 6 cups of florets. (Time does not include any advance time to cook the eggs.)
- 4 cups cauliflower florets
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1 leek, sliced in thin rings
- 3 eggs, hard boiled, sliced
- 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
- 1⁄2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 ounce parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 cup fine soft bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- nutmeg, ground (to taste)
- black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Hard boil three eggs. Cool enough to handle, then peel and slice into thin rings, or use previously cooked eggs.
- Wash cauliflower and broccoli dividing into florets. Cook until just tender by boiling or steaming. Cook about 10 minutes. Wash and slice leeks into thin rings. Add to pan with cooking cauliflower and broccoli for the last 2 or 3 minutes.
- While the vegetables are cooking, melt 2 TBS butter in a 1 qt saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour, and stir and cook for about a minute.
- Mix the milk with the water, and slowly add to the pan with the butter and the flour, stirring constantly. Cook over medium-low heat until thickened, stirring frequently. (This produces a medium white sauce.).
- Stir the grated parmesan into the white sauce and remove from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir into sauce.
- Drain the vegetables.
- In a 3 quart buttered casserole dish, layer 1/2 of the vegetables, a layer of sliced eggs and then 1/2 of the white sauce. Sprinkle lightly with ground nutmeg. (If you really don't like nutmeg, use paprika.).
- Repeat the layers. Top with bread crumbs and drizzle with the melted butter. Sprinkle the top with salt, pepper and paprika to taste.
- Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes until browned and bubbly.