Earthy Truffles Make Everything Better!
Decadent, earthy and certainly a special occasion side dish, this truffled cauliflower gratin kicks the idea of a side dish up a few notches.
Inspired by my recent stay in Umbria – home of black truffles, where they were used very often to garnish so many delicious dishes from pasta to bruschetta to vegetables. I was in heaven! Soooo, I decided to gourmet up my favorite vegetable.
Creating layers of truffle flavor from the black truffle oil and the truffle salsa or sliced truffle is important as the aromas of truffle dissipate quickly from oil so the addition of another form of the fragrant fungus is essential.
This is certainly an indulgent special occasion dish, with its cheese and dairy, but BE BRAVE and try this even on a random Sunday especially alongside a lighter main course such as Ginger & Truffle Salmon, Crispy Chicken Cutlets or Sheet Pan Fish
Truffle up with me!
Truffled Cauliflower Casserole
(* indicates my preferred ingredients – see notes for alternatives)
1 large head of cauliflower, cut in florets
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon + 3 teaspoons O&V Black Truffle EVOO (divided) *
2 ½ tablespoons flour
1 cup milk, heated
1 cup half & half, heated
Salt & pepper to taste
1 cup freshly grated Gruyere cheese (divided)
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 F
Cut the cauliflower into medium sized florets, sprinkle them with salt. Place a pot on the stove with 1 inch of water, bring to a boil. Place the florets in a steam basket and place in the pot, cover and steam the cauliflower for 6-8 minutes until tender but firm.
Combine the milk and half & half and heat over medium heat in a pan or gently in a microwave
In a heavy saucepan, over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter along with 1 tablespoon of Black Truffle oil. Gradually whisk in the flour until well combined and smooth. Cook, whisking constantly for 2-3 minutes, but don’t let the flour turn brown. Pour the hot milk and half & half into the butter-oil-flour mixture, whisking constantly until it starts to bubble. Allow to thicken, while stirring. Then remove from heat
Add 2 teaspoons of Black truffle oil, ½ cup of Gruyere, ½ cup of Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste. Combine well till smooth and silky. Add the Salsa Tartufata or chopped Truffle Carpaccio (if using) and combine well.
Oil a 2–3-quart shallow baking dish.
Place the drained cauliflower in the dish. Pour the sauce evenly over the florets
Combine the remaining tablespoon of butter with the remaining teaspoon of Black Truffle oil. Toss with the breadcrumbs and remaining ½ cup of Gruyere. Mix together with your fingers or a fork till crumbly and well combined. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole
Sprinkle a little freshly ground black pepper.
Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and the casserole is bubbling
Active time 25 minutes Total Time: 55 minutes
* The Black Truffle EVOO has a rich, intense, earthy flavor that adds incredible flavor to this dish. The quality and intensity of the oil will determine the ultimate flavor of this casserole, so choose any substitutions with quality in mind. The Salsa Tartufata is an extra truffle treat that adds intensity and sumptuousness to the cauliflower. You can substitute with the Truffle Carpaccio or even some Truffle Powder or shaved truffles. These, and many other truffle products are available at Oil & Vinegar stores
Categories: Entrée, Gourmet Side, Easy Entertaining, Holiday Side, Cauliflower, Black Truffle Oil, Truffled Cauliflower Casserole, Salsa Tartufata, Truffle Carpaccio, Truffle Powder, Creamy Cauliflower Casserole,