This is my favorite cauliflower recipe in my foodie journey thus far. Although my "smashed-cauliflower potatoes" are a close second. I have literally made this cauliflower gratin dozens of times. I love that I can have a large portion of this without feeling guilty. (That's probably why it's my favorite). I adapted this recipe from the original version on pg 106 of French Women Don't Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano.
1 large-sized head of cauliflower
3 cups of milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, Gruyere, or Fontina (or a combination of two)
fresh cracked black pepper
1. Cut cauliflower into small florets and place in a large pot with 3 cups of milk and 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Cover and simmer on low heat for 35 minutes or until the cauliflower is just barely fork tender, stirring often so the milk doesn't scorch.
2. Drain cauliflower, reserving at least 1 cup of the hot milk. (You could also reserve the rest of the milk for a creamy vegetable based soup).
3. Lightly butter a small casserole dish. Beat one egg in a small bowl with a fork, continue beating egg and add a small amount of the hot milk into the egg mixture. Continue to slowly add all the milk until completely incorporated. Arrange the florets in the buttered dish.
4. Pour egg mixture over the cauliflower. Sprinkle with cheese and fresh cracked black pepper. Optional: dot with a small amount of butter.
5. Heat in a 350 degree oven until cheese is melted and the dish looks brown and bubbly (about 25 minutes). Optional: for a browner top heat under broiler for a couple of minutes - but watch carefully. Goes great with salad and sauteed chicken.