Saturday, May 05, 2007

Cauliflower gratin

Gratins usually come with béchamel sauce or lashings of cream, eggs and cheese - hearty, comforting and definitely not kind on your waistline. Is there such as thing as a light version of gratin? According to Julie Andrieu's Julie cuisine pour garder la ligne (Julie cooks so as to stay in shape - no one does "diet" cookbooks like the French) there is if you use only a little half-fat cream and cottage cheese. I was intrigued and tried her recipe for making a cauliflower gratin (she uses zucchini, carrots and spring onions) which also constitutes the contribution to the 2007 challenge for week 18.

Cauliflower gratin (serves 3-4)

  • one large cauliflowers, washed and cut into florets
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (to grease the gratin dish)
  • 2 eggs
  • 200g cottage cheese
  • 2 cl half-fat cream
  • salt and pepper
  • nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons water (my addition, the zucchini used in the original recipe probably give off quite some liquid)
Steam the cauliflower florets until just soft. Put into a lightly greased oven-proof dish. Beat the eggs with the cream (and water, if using), then stir in the cottage cheese. Season with salt, freshly ground pepper and nutmeg. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and bake at 200°C in the preheated oven for about 20-30 minutes.

My verdict: good. Would I make this again? Yes. Maybe. It's not quite the real thing, though. I might go back to the "full-on" version - just not every day.

P.S. I packed the leftovers in my lunchbox and ate them cold (or at room temperature, rather, as we don't have a fridge at work) the next day and you know what? It tasted fantastic. Might be a keeper after all.

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