Potato and Local Yellow Cauliflower Gratin

This morning I heard a presentation  by my friends Charlie Brummitt and Elizabeth Gibbs from the Greensboro Farmer’s Curb Market to the Gate City Rotary. Not only did they share an in-depth description of how the Market operates and it’s history but also the importance of purchasing our food locally and supporting the wealth of farmers in our region. As Elizabeth said with passion, “Everyday you vote with a dollar for what kind of world you want to live in.” I can always do a better job with how I vote with my dollar and it’s been a pleasure getting to know local farmers and their products through this blog and my print column. I hope you’ll join me in supporting the Market and their efforts. There are some exciting improvements ahead too!

Speaking of, you can find some really amazing cauliflower at the Greensboro Farmer’s Market right now. Last weekend I picked up a beautiful yellow cauliflower that had a sweeter taste than your average supermarket variety. I made several dishes throughout the week with the yellow cauliflower – including eating it raw with hummus over the kitchen sink on a busy night. But, Saturday night I used half of it to make a decandent Gratin with potatoes and the neverending supply of New Years Eve fondue cheese in my freezer. It was very rich and paired well with the fancy steaks and seasonal salads. All gratins are very easy if you can put together a bechamel sauce and use good cheese. Here’s how I did this one:

Boil, steam or microwave the potatoes and cauliflour until almost tender. I used about 4 small yukon gold potatoes and a half of a head of yellow califlower (enough to fill the dish I was using). Make a bechamel sauce by melting two tablespoons of butter, whisking in 2 tablespoons of flour until combined and starting to brown (it will smell nutty). Slowly add 2 cups of warm milk – whisk until incorporated and starting to thicken. Add grated Jarlsberg or gruyere cheese to taste. Add some nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the potates and cauliflower and bake at 350 until bubbly and brown on the top.

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