Sunday, May 27, 2012

Cauliflower "Gratin" (gluten, cow dairy free, dairy free option)

I was going to put "potato free" on this *laugh* but figured out and out telling people it used cauliflower PROBABLY makes you assume that it's potato free ;).

I was asked by a Facebook member to share this recipe as I mentioned I was making a potato version of this dish one night and she was intrigued by it.  So, this one if for Pam.

Last Thanksgiving I was mainly concerned about getting big flavors into the meal without the garlic, so I went searching and found Autumn Potato Gratin while watching one of my 30 Minute Meal DVD's.  I loved the idea of the simplicity of it, made it and BOY did we love it.

Unfortunately, due to all the very RICH cow dairy in it, it also caused some tummy troubles with me.  So, one night, desperately seeking a different way to make potatoes, I decided to try the recipe and tweak it to be more tummy friendly.  And MAN it was yummy.

So, I've continued to tweak it and the last couple of times I made it I made it with cauliflower instead of potatoes (which is a lot easier for ME to digest, I don't know about other people).  My husband LOVES this dish and it is a great way to get your husband (or in my case, daughter, as my son can't eat coconut) to eat their veggies and them not know that they are getting something good for them while you are doing it ;).

I've made this recipe quite a few times.  In this version I used a hard sheep's cheese (basically the sheep equivalent to Parmigiano Reggiano.  I got mine at Fred Meyer) that I grated, BUT if you can't do dairy of any type (I tolerate goat cheese and sheep's cheese pretty well) I HAVE made this with a combo of the parmesan "cheese" recipe I have here and some Daiya cheese sprinkled over the top for the melting factor.  Just sprinkle a couple of good handfuls of the vegetarian parmesan and then a good handful of Daiya (or whatever cheese alternative you can do) over the top of the dish and bake as directed.  It works just as well.

Cauliflower "Gratin" (gluten, cow dairy free, dairy free option)

  • 1 Large head cauliflower
  • 2 cans full fat coconut milk (I use the brand here and love it).  
  • 3 to 4 sprigs of your favorite fresh herbs (in this recipe I used 1 good sprig of fresh thyme, one of rosemary and a sprig of sage)
  • 1 Shallot chopped coarsely (or if you can do garlic just take about 2 cloves of garlic, smash and peel them and you're good to go)
  • 1/2 cup (about) grated hard sheep's cheese (or whatever you use for a Parmesan cheese alternative with some other "cheese" to sprinkle on top)
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg (just eyeball it)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Combine 1 can of the coconut milk, your fresh herbs of choice (don't bother trying to peel the herbs, just put the sprigs in whole), the shallot/garlic and the nutmeg in a small saucepan.  Heat over low heat until heated through and simmering (about 10 minutes).

3.  In the meantime, take your cauliflower and remove the heart from it and then cut the head into bite sized pieces.  Spread pieces evenly in baking dish of choice (I used a one inch deep like 8 x 11 pan I had, but an 8x8 pan would work just as well).  Once coconut milk is nice and hot and smelling very "herby" take a wire mesh strainer over your baking dish of cauliflower and strain the coconut milk as you pour it into the pan over the cauliflower (it just plain saves you from having to strain the milk into another container and then pouring it over the cauliflower).  Discard leftover herbs and shallot/garlic.  Take your second can of coconut milk and add to the dish of cauliflower until it comes up even with the tops of the cauliflower in the dish (you want the milk to cook into the veggies, of course).  Sprinkle grated cheese (or your cheese alternatives) over the top of the dish.

4.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until you smell the yummy smell of the gratin and the top starts to turn golden brown and the cauliflower is done.

5.  Take out of oven and let sit for about 5 minutes before serving (to let it cool down a little) and sprinkle  salt and pepper on top of the dish to taste.  

Serve with meal of choice.  I've served this with baked chicken, name it and it goes well with it.  Serves 4.


 This Post Was Linked to Whole Food Fridays

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