Cauliflower Fontina Gratin
Cauliflower reaches it's peak seaon in the fall, making it a perfect veggie choice for the holidays.
6 cups cauliflower florets (2 small heads)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups hall and half, light cream or milk
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup shredded Fontina cheese (3 ounches)
1 tablespoon snipped fresh thyme or 2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2/3 cup soft bread crumbs
2 tablespoon olive oil
snipped fresh thype (optional)
Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease 2 quart square baking dish; set aside. In a Dutch oven cook cauliflower florets in boiling lightly salted water about 5 minutes or just until tender; drain. Transfer to a boil of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain again; set aside.
For sauce, in a medium saucepan melt butter over medium low heat. Stir in flour. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Stirl in half and half and the 1/2 cup milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese, the 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, the salt and pepper.
Spread about 1 cup of the sauce in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Add cauliflower. Top with the remaining sauce.
Sprinkle gratin with bread crumbs; drizzle with oil. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until light brown and bubbly. If desired, sprinkle with additional thyme.