Cauliflower Gratin

It's a little strange not to be hosting any of the holidays this year.  Our new home, with it's small rooms and circuitous floor plan, walls yet to be knocked down and made open, simply can't hold a lot of folks for entertaining.  So this year we are guests.  I hosted a big Thanksgiving last year, and decided to dry brine a turkey for 3 days. I mashed those potatoes, whisked the gravy, chopped that stuffing, bechameled some kale, and baked a kugel (it was Hanukkah). I also drilled holes into and candle-lit birch logs and gold leafed everything I owned.  I spent weeks working on it, and our house felt kind of magical. I guess I'm feeling a little down right now without all that entertaining to look forward to. Our new house is covered in remodel inspiration/ DIY books,  flooring samples, and random pieces of furniture waiting to be refinished.  By this time next year it'll be done, and I know I will feel back to normal, but it's still hard to be so unsettled with so much work to do.  Fortunately half of my family moved to town, and all the holiday festivities will be just down the street, starting with Thanksgiving at Grandma's. So this year I'm a guest, and I'm bringing a dish to the dinner, which I thought I'd share it with you today. I had to test it out to make sure it was decadent enough for the big day.  Don't be fooled by the vegetables, this is rich.

Here's the healthy part, and I only chose these ingredients because I think they soak up cheese and cream nicely.  To make 6 servings you'll need one head of cauliflower, and about 6 pieces of purple kale, stems and rib removed.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the cauliflower into florets, toss generously with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and lay on a sheet pan and roast for about 20 minutes, until soft and slightly browned.   Here's the rest of he recipe...

4 oz soft goat cheese

4 oz grated gruyere

1 cup heavy cream

2 cups chopped day old french bread

2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp sea salt

Butter and truffle oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. To prepare the gratin, generously butter the inside of casserole dish.  Layer in the bread, roasted cauliflower and tear in the kale. Dot with 1/2 oz pieces of the soft goat cheese, and sprinkle over the Gruyere.  Whisk the cream, nutmeg and red pepper together and drizzle over the vegetables, sprinkle with sea salt and cover with aluminum foil.  Place in the oven for 25 minutes covered, then 20 more minutes uncovered to allow the bread to crisp up.  Cool for a few minutes before diving in.  The cauliflower is so creamy, the Gruyere gives tang and the kale some nutty crunch. To make it extra decadent drizzle a little truffle oil over the top. Happy Thanksgiving!

Boho Cheat

Boho Cheat

They say you always go back to what you know.  I was born in the late 70's, and I like to think that my fondness for the more subtle decor of that era is sentimental.  My grandparents built their retirement ranch compound, with a mix of 1970's finishes and older pieces from the 50's and 60's, decor collected from their world travels, and an solarium full of tropical plants with a wall of window that stretched two stories.  I have dreams of building such a home one day. 

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