GRATIN - Fall 2023 (Oct-Dec) Dish of the Quarter

We had a varied DOTQ field this time, but GRATIN came out on top. Perfect dish for fall, IMO - is there anything that isn’t improved by a crispy or cheesy (or both) topping? Let’s get baking, HOs!


I’m tickled my nomination was chosen & will take it as an incentive to branch out from my usual potato gratin :slight_smile:


And in a neat trick, Cajun/Creole and gratins are entirely compatible. :wink:


Looks fantastic. I’m not a huge fan of oysters but I could totally get down with this!

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Hmm. I can get to a non-dairy dauphinois…not sure I can pull off a gratin.

Tis the season for sure. My usuals are potato, cauliflower, or good ole mac and cheese. But I will try to find something different to try.

The most recent new recipe I tried was during Thomas Keller COTM, which I’d recommend for a more interesting sauce.

Just read the recipe - have you made it with macaroni or only with cauliflower? A cup of flour seems like it would make the sauce WAY too tight for macaroni, even with 8 cups of milk. Probably perfect for cauli, though, since it lets off some water. I’m also not convinced about cloves and bay leaf in mac and cheese, though I think it would be good with cauliflower!

I was gonna say I’d be worried cauli would be too watery for a gratin and render it soupy. But TK prolly knows better than I :wink:

I made it with cauliflower as I wrote. I don’t think I’ve ever followed a recipe for bechamel (or anything else, lol) without adjusting by sight or taste or anticipation, so if it seemed too thick I would just have thinned it.

That said, 2T butter, 2T flour, 1 cup milk is pretty standard for bechamel (with many mac & cheese recipes cutting the milk back further – eg 3 cups milk for 1/2 cup each butter & flour) so I don’t think his proportions are out of the ordinary.

I usually par-cook the cauliflower and drain it completely so it doesn’t thin the sauce.

Re seasonings - I cut back on the cloves as I’m not a big fan, but everything else worked. Ymmv.


Cauliflower cheese is a pretty well-known and loved gratin (TK’s recipe was for mac, not cauliflower).

Yea, I’ve heard of it but never made it. I like cauli in most preps, so perhaps I’ll give this a try.

@Sunshine842 When I was regularly making GF and DF mac & cheese for family, I used Ripple for the non-dairy bechamel and pureed (soaked) cashews for richness and texture and that worked well for us.

This is a recipe I have been making since I bought Burt Greene’s cookbook Greene on Greens back in the 1980’s **. I was hoping to find it online somewhere so I could copy and paste it but it’s so good I decided to take the time to type it to share. It’s surprisingly delicious.


1.5 lbs. cauliflower, leaves trimmed and core removed
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1 cup light cream or half & half
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
Dash of hot pepper sauce
1/4 cup grated Swiss cheese
1/4 cup soft fresh breadcrumbs
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
2 Tbs. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350F. Cook cauliflower in at least 3 quarts of boiling water until just tender, 10-12 minutes. Rinse under cold running water and drain. Cut or break cauliflower into flowerets.

Melt 2 Tbs. butter in a saucepan over medium low heat. Stir in the flour. Cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Whisk in the cream. Raise the heat slightly, cook until thick. Add the lemon juice, nutmeg, hot pepper sauce and Swiss cheese. Remove and set aside.

Place the cauliflower in a well buttered 1 1/2 to 2 quart soufflé dish. Spoon the cheese sauce over the top. Melt remaining 1 Tbs. butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Stir in the breadcrumbs and ground ginger. Stir constantly until mixture is golden. Spoon crumbs over the cauliflower and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Bake kin the oven until bubbly about 15-20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 4 servings.


I decided to see what Jacques Pepin has put out by way of interesting gratins, and I was not disappointed.

Tomato and bread, spinach and salmon (leftovers currently in my fridge), scallions of all things, and brandade!


My first guitarist’s wife made a fabulous spinach gratin. Sadly, we are no longer in touch, but I have to find a recipe for it.

I had to make this anyway , since H turned 29 again a few days ago, and it’s the only thing he ever wants for a present. So lucky me that it’s DOTQ! Mac & cheese, widely-considered to be the best in the known universe (according to H).


The bechamel isn’t the problem…its finding anything rhat melts and tastes like cheese.

I can eat goat and sheep cheeses, but they don’t melt.

Vegan cheese is what sad would taste like if it existed in physical form.


Weird, my family had the same constraints with cheese. We used manchego and pecorino, both sheep.

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Ina Garten’s spinach gratin is fabulous. I’ve made it many, many times (half recipe in an 8" square baker).


Oddly the pea protein in Ripple is enough to cause a reaction.