Cauliflower gratin

There is no flour in the cauliflower sauce, which means it will be slightly runnier than a traditional béchamel sauce, but it's fresher and lighter.


  • 500g cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season
  • ½ cup coarse sourdough breadcrumbs

  • For the sauce
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 small eschalot, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup pure cream
  • 2 tsp freshly grated horseradish
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup grated gruyère


Preheat oven to 200°C.

Place the cauliflower, oil and seasoning in a bowl and toss. Place in a single layer on a baking dish and roast for about 10 minutes until nicely coloured and almost cooked (this will also depend on the size of the cauliflower florets). Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 180°C.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Place butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add eschalots and salt and cook gently for 4 minutes, until eschalots are translucent. Add a bay leaf and whisk in cream, horseradish, mustard and a good grind of pepper. Bring to a boil, then immediately remove from the heat. Add grated cheese, mix to combine, check the seasoning and discard the bay leaf.

Spoon sauce over cauliflower and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Place back in the oven for about 5-10 minutes to heat through.

NOTES: Want something to drink?
Try the Audrey Wilkinson Semillon 2015, Hunter Valley, NSW.

Semillon is a classic Hunter Valley variety and this example works perfectly with the fresh parsley flavours that run through the gribiche. Vibrant lemon and lime notes add freshness to the palate, while the wine's long and intense finish complements the flavours of the sauce.

First published in the Good Weekend. Photography by William Meppem and Jennifer Soo. Styling by Hannah Meppem. Food preparation by Nick Banbury.

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