Cauliflower Gratin With Manchego and Almond Sauce

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READY IN: 1hr 30mins
Recipe by Raquel Grinnell

From Food & Wine. I LOVE cauliflower, in every form. Had to post for safekeeping!!

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 34 cup half-and-half
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cauliflower (approx. 2 lbs., cut into 1 1/2-inch florets)
  • 12 cup almonds (whole roasted with skin)
  • 2 tablespoons almonds (approx. 3 ounces, coarsely chopped)
  • 1 cup manchego cheese (finely shredded, can substitute Gouda)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 14 teaspoon smoked paprika (Spanish brand Pimenton de la Vera preferred)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. In a small saucepan, heat the half-and-half until steaming, then transfer it to a food processor or blender. Add the 1/2 cup of whole almonds and process until finely ground. Let stand for 10 minutes. Strain the half-and-half through a fine sieve set over a bowl, pressing on the almonds to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the ground almonds.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the flour and whisk over moderately high heat for 1 minute. Add the milk and the half-and-half and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add 3/4 cup of the Manchego and whisk until melted. Whisk in the nutmeg; season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
  3. In a large skillet, bring 1/2 inch of salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower, cover and cook over high heat until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain the cauliflower in a colander. Wipe out the skillet.
  4. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the skillet. Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat, stirring until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower and cook, stirring until lightly golden, about 2 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Transfer the cauliflower to a 7-by-10-inch glass or ceramic baking dish and spread the Manchego sauce on top.
  5. Sprinkle the gratin with the remaining cheese, the 2 tablespoons of chopped almonds and the paprika and bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes, or until bubbling and browned on top. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
  6. MAKE AHEAD The gratin can be prepared through Step 4 and refrigerated overnight. Bring it to room temperature before baking.

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