I’m only a recent cauliflower convert, as I used to hate it. Not only does it have no flavour whatsoever, but every time somebody would cook it in the past it would smell for days. I remember talking with my aunt about how she tried cooking the cauliflower with lemon grinds. Somebody at the market told her that it would stop the smell. Surprise, it didn’t help at all. The only thing that seems to help the smell is buying them as fresh as possible and not waiting long to prepare it.
When I finally got over the smell problem, I still needed to figure out how to make it taste of something. I tried serving it with roasted garlic, but it was still kind of boring. When I learned to make a Sauce Bernaise, I served it with that once or twice, but that sauce always worries me. Anything with eggs worries me, just in general. So, I tried making a sauce that was similar to the flavour of a Sauce Bernaise without the eggs. I think it is quite similar, though it is obviously not the same. When you don’t want to gratinate the cauliflower, like I did this time, I’d half the recipe and serve it with some cooked cauliflower, potatoes, asparagus or pasta. It is very versatile.
Gratinated Cauliflower with Creamy Tarragon Sauce
300 ml/ 1 1/4 cups vegetable stock
100 ml/ 1/2 cup white dry wine
200 ml/ 3/4 cups cream
2 Tbl Butter
1 Tsp Parsley
1 Tsp Tarragon
optional: 2 Tsp Cornstarch
- Clean and cut the cauliflower into florets. Cook it in some salted water until fork tender. Drain the cauliflower and put it into a slightly greased casserole dish.
- Put the vegetable stock and white wine into a pot and leave it to reduce until it has halved in volume.
- Add the cream and leave it to reduce to the desired consistency. If you don’t have time, you can thicken the sauce with some cornstarch later.
- Add the butter and leave it to melt.
- Season the sauce with sal, pepper and the herbs to taste.
- If you have to thicken the sauce now, dilute the cornstarch in some cold water and add it a few teaspoons at a time, until is has reached the desired consistency.
- Cover the cauliflower with the sauce and sprinkle the grated cheese over it.
- Gratinate it in the oven at 200 °C/390 °F until the cheese is golden.