French Fridays with Dorie: Cauliflower-Bacon Gratin

The last French Fridays with Dorie recipe for 2011 was a clear winner at our house: Cauliflower-Bacon Gratin. I got a new oven earlier this week, and this was the inaugural dish baked in the oven.

I struggle to like both cauliflower and broccoli, but I’m getting there. This dish definitely paves the way. What’s not to like about anything cooked with bacon and custard and cheese?

The gratin is sort of like a crustless quiche, but a little more substantial.

The cauliflower is meltingly tender.

The bacon is smoky.

The custard that holds it all together is creamy, and I love Gruyere cheese.

Dorie suggested the gratin could be served as a main dish or a side. I opted to serve it as an entrée with a green salad on the side. It warmed our insides and filled our bellies. I agree it would be a nice complement to a simple preparation of meat or chicken. Leftovers held up well too.

When I was making this, I was a little frustrated because it called for a cauliflower, but there was no guidance about its recommended weight. Also, it called for the cauliflower to be broken into florets, but not their size. I had two different cauliflowers in the refrigerator, one twice as big as the other. I used the bigger one, but some of the florets were huge. I ended up quartering the giant ones. In the end, I realized that none of my anxiety mattered. I know it would have worked out fine with a bigger or smaller cauliflower and a bigger or smaller florets. The gratin is quite forgiving.

I can’t wait to read about the other Dorista’s gratins. That’s what I’ll spend the rest of the evening doing, while I enjoy the last crème brulée from last week — now successfully torched with turbinado sugar, rather than brownulated, on top. (Thanks Elaine!)

You can read about their gratins too by following the links on the FFwD site. We are asked not to post the recipes, but I found it posted here on Leite’s Culinaria. That doesn’t mean that if you find Dorie’s recipes appealing, you shouldn’t get yourself a copy of Around My French Table.

Happy New Year 2012 to all my cooking friends! It’s been a great year getting to know you all and sharing a passion for the kitchen with you.

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Posted on 30 December 2011, in French Fridays with Dorie, Winter and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. Happy New Year!

    Congratulations on the new oven. Cream & bacon are a great way to break it in :-)

  2. Yeah, I bought an organic cauliflower which was tiny…I wished I had bought a larger one…but it was still darn tasty. Happy New Year to you, too, Betsy!!! Wishing you many blessings and lots of deliciousness in 2012!

  3. Congrats on the oven! Glad this recipe was a hit in your house. Happy New Year!

  4. My husband and I both admired your new oven! Glad the inaugural dish turned out well! Happy New Year!

  5. Happy New Year from Nana and I ! We both enjoyed this recipe big time and have been making it for over a year now. That said, we replayed many Dorie recipes over this holiday week, also including creme brulee and the duck. The treadmill is actually starting to look good :) Congrats on the new oven and glad you had a FF recipe to break it in with ~

  6. Happy New Year to you :) Your gratin looks delicious. for me I added mixed herbs for extra flavor. Look forward to cooking along with you in the year 2012.

  7. I agree – I think it’s like a crust-less quiche, too. How exciting to get a new oven! I hope you’ll enjoy it!

    Looking forward to another year of cooking together!
    Happy New Year!

  8. Hi Betsy, love your gratin, and you are right, this would work well with any size of cauliflower. Wishing you and your family a very Happy New Year!

  9. I agree that it is more of a crustless quiche! Looks great!

    Happy New Year!

  10. Hi, Betsy! I love your description of the gratin. How neat that you have a new oven! I would LOVE a new, larger one! :) Your gratin looks beautiful and I am glad it was also a hit at your house. It’s so hard to believe that it is the last recipe of the year, isn’t it?! I hope you and Howard have a lovely New Year and I wish many blessings for you both in 2012.

  11. The new oven is gorgeous, enjoy!
    I used 2 small heads of cauliflower because one just didn’t seem to be enough for the pan I used. I also doubled the bacon and loved that. I’m glad your gratin was enjoyed by all, we liked it too.
    I’ve enjoyed following you this year and look forward to your posts in 2012.
    Have a Happy New Year’s eve;-)

  12. Nice inaugural dish for your oven! I’m indifferent to cauliflower, but if you dump enough cream and cheese on anything, I’m guaranteed to like it. I was confused about cauliflower size, too. Glad everything worked out!

  13. Congrats on getting the new oven! I wish recipes like this would recommend weights, too, but you’re totally right – it’s a very forgiving recipe. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Happy New Year!

  14. Congratulations on the new oven! We really enjoyed this one at my house. Happy New Year!

  15. Loved this dish, too. A great way to end the year and break in your new oven. Happy New Year – I’ve so enjoyed reading about your life and cooking adventures this year. I’m looking forward to next year’s posts! Happy New Year – I hope it brings much joy.

  16. Looks like your new oven did a good job. But you’re right–this is a forgiving dish, and a pretty one too.

  17. Good point on the size of the cauliflower – I was a little concerned that mine was a little small but it worked. Love this dish. Congrats on your new oven.

    Looking forward to cooking with you in 2012 and reading all your fun posts!

    Happy New Year!

  18. Happy to hear that your new oven has been successfully broken in. And with a very tasty dish at that! We really enjoyed this one too and I think that I would actually prefer it as the main course with a nice side salad to give me the illusion of eating healthy. But darn tasty either way.

    Happy New Year to you and your loved ones.

  19. I was a bit aggravated by the recipe not calling for a specific size too – I definitely used one that was too small. Yours looks delicious!

  20. Happy new year to you. That’s right the recipe let in the middle what the size of the cauliflower should have been. Maybe mine was to small, because I didn’t have any leftovers??? I wanted some though.

  21. This dish is just fabulous looking…will have to play catch up with this months recipes. I have been so busy entertaining..I haven’t had time to try anything new.

  22. I chuckled to myself when I saw your comment about the cauliflower – I very much dislike when recipes don’t give exact measurements (especially lemon juice as I often ahve it pre-squeezed in the fridge), but then I do the same thing when I write my recipes up. LOL. I guess its the cook’s way of saying “don’t worry” about the measurements. And that is a beautiful pile of bacon.

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