Sous Chef Conor Esser at Kitchen Door in Napa gives us this fantastic potatoes au gratin recipe incorporating one of his favorite winter vegetables: cauliflower. Chef says, “As a child I always loved when my mom would make potatoes au gratin, often my favorite part of holiday meals...Cheers, and Happy Holidays!"
1 small head cauliflower, 1.5-2 lbs, washed and cut into florets
5 medium yukon gold potatoes, washed and cut into 1/3 inch rounds
1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
1 cup cream
1 tsp grated nutmeg
2 tsp kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour (optional)
1 cup grated Gruyere or sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
2 Tbsp + 2 Tbsp butter (keep separate)
chopped parsley for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 F. Using 2 tablespoons of butter, grease a casserole dish. In a medium sauce pot, scald cream with onions, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Add cauliflower to cream mixture, simmer gently until al dente (do not overcook).
Remove cauliflower and onion from cream, reserving cream to make gratin. Add potatoes to cream mixture, and cook potatoes until just tender.
Remove potatoes from cream, and arrange in the buttered casserole dish along with cauliflower and onions. Sprinkle cauliflower, potatoes, and onions with flour (if using), and sprinkle Gruyere or cheddar over top. Pour remaining cream mixture evenly over casserole, and top with Panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and dot with remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.
Bake at 400F for 20-30 minutes until bubbly, golden brown, and crispy on top. Sprinkle with chopped parsley for color. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!