Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Truffled Cauliflower Gratin – Now 100% Truffle Oil Free

This cauliflower gratin would typically be “truffled” with truffle oil, but I’ve never been a big fan. Truffle oils are almost always synthetically produced, one-dimensional, and way too overpowering. 

So, in this otherwise humble gratin, we’re going to use another, much more delicious delivery system…truffle pecorino. For less than $10 worth of cheese, I think you can get a much nicer, truer truffle flavor – plus, it’s cheese. By the way, if you know they actually make this cheese with synthetic truffle oil, please keep it to yourself, and don't spoil it for me. 

This stuff is pretty easy to find in fancy grocery stores with decent sized cheese departments, but if you can’t, I’ve seen it online at even better prices.

It’s worth the effort to find, and turns this already great casserole into something truly special, and with side dish season in full swing, I really hope you consider giving this truffled cauliflower gratin a try. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 6-8 Portions
6 tbsp melted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1 tsp salt or to taste
pinch of cayenne
pinch of nutmeg
5 to 6 oz wedge of truffle pecorino, grated
1 large head of cauliflower
2 tbsp breadcrumbs
freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano as needed
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
a few fresh chives to garnish

21 comments:

natanoja said...

thank you for this recipe!

Sarah said...

Yes, truffle pecorino is really great product! I just made a cauliflower mash with it as a healthier replacement of mashed potatoes and it was out of this world. You really need to use just a little, cos it is very intense in flavor. Def recommend :-)

Novonia said...

This looks like it will be very very good, so it's definitely on my 'to try/make' list. Can you share the web-site where you can buy this cheese because I live in a relatively small town and know I'll not be able to find it locally.
(Hopefully they will have the sottocenere for your potato gratin as well so I finally try that!)

Brian Meschke said...

What entrees would you suggest pairing this with?

Sergei S said...
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Sergei S said...
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Joe Owen said...

I've mad this (well, no truffle cheese...but I will do that soon!) only with a tweak...I put the cauliflower in the microwave, in a bowl, covered with plastic for a few minutes and boom, it's ready for gratinizing!

c1a101 said...

That looks totally amazing!!!..I have to try this!!

Atour said...

This looks amazing. I was wondering if it would be better to roast the cauliflower?

rancholyn said...

This looks yummy...My favorite item is truffle salt....Are you familiar?
I couldn't find where to purchase Truffle Pecorino..please let me know...thanks

Chef John said...

People searching for the cheese online, I can't give specific website addresses, but if you simply Google "truffle pecorino" you will see many options from which to buy! Enjoy!

Lindsay said...

pecorino Moliterno al tartufo - the Italian name if that helps you find it. This little village produces some of the finest cheese in the world. I'm don't think it would ever hang around long enough to make it into a recipe in our house!

Orenwolf said...

Made this tonight alongside Beef Wellington. It was a huge hit!

I was a little concerned when tasting before seasoning that the cheese sauce may have been missing another flavour, but when it came out of the oven, it looked - and smelled - terrific!

I parboiled the cauliflower per Chef John's suggestion, but I'll confirm what the poster above said - microwaving for a few minutes also accomplishes the same task , just toss up in a bowl and cover with cling film - however, it's much, much easier to accidentally overcook the veggies and turn them rubbery, especially since microwaves vary so substantially in power and cook time.

Thanks, Chef, for a great, simple recipie!

Gian D said...

I really want to make a mac and cheese with this. Maybe with some Gruyere and Cheddar?

Hannah said...

I am making this at this very moment. The sauce is VERY thick though. I just put the cheese in, and it already looks as thick as yours looks when it is cooled. I'm wondering if half a cup of flour is too much?

It is delicious though. I've been eating spoonfulls of sauce. It might not make it to the cauliflower.

Chef John said...

Maybe you packed your cup when you measure the flour, so you got a little extra, but it doesn't matter because you can thin it out with a little more milk if you want!

Nic Leep said...

Chef John, thank you for this recipe. I happened on your site looking for something, and have become a loyal viewer. I prepared this today for my Christmas dinner tomorrow, and the sauce is delicious. I am sure that it will be a huge hit! Merry Christmas!

Henry Kirk said...

Since pecorino and parmesan are both rich in glutamates, the compounds that give truffles their potent flavor, isn't it possible that this dish's flavor is merely truffle-like, and the flavor which you seem to be considering to be proper to the truffle is actually proper to the cheeses? You'd think that if the truffled pecorino actually contained enough truffle for the truffle itself to be the workhorse of adding truffle flavor to the dish, using the truffled pecorino to achieve the same amount of truffle flavor would be just as expensive as using actual truffle, if not even more.

md said...

Thank you for the recipe Chef! I made this today with your Veracruz-Style Red Snapper. Unfortunately I din't have pecorino nor parmesan on the fridge (I should be burned at the stake for this horrid sin!), so I just made it with Monterey Jack and Cheddar...it was delicious!! :D

Unknown said...

This is gonna happen with Romanesco...

Taiwai Yun said...

Thanks Chef John! I am thinking about combining this with your other gratin recipe featuring parsnip and potato. Using this one as a base, instead of using chunks of cauliflower, I will slice it just like the other two ingredients, and add a little chicken broth into the bechamel sauce sans creme fresh. Please let me know if what you think about that? Thank you!