Friday, May 25, 2012

A Veggie Meal From The Garden

We picked some beets the previous day, one of the few cheddar cauliflowers this day, and just prior to preparation I graveled (East TN speak for digging under the plant for the taters and replacing the dirt without disturbing the plants) enough new potatoes for the meal.

The beets were washed and boiled, then peeled, sliced, and served with just butter, S&P.

The potatoes got the usual treatment for our first harvest – washed, boiled until just tender, then fried in butter to brown.  Reminder - new potatoes aren't necessarily small and small potatoes aren't necessarily new.  Notice how a light washing removed some of the delicate skin from the new ones.  I was surprised at their large size since they have yet to bloom - hopefully we'll have a good crop.

I only grow the colored cauliflower so I don’t have to worry about covering the head to keep it white and the cheddar color of this one added nicely to the Cauiflower Gratin I made from it. 

I had two recipes saved – one from Penny at Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen and one by Giada from the Food NetworkThey both used Gruyere cheese and bacon and I liked elements from each of them, but I ultimately chose Penny’s because she said it was company worthy and it came from Ina Garten.  I went back to Ina’s original recipe and saw that it called for twice the cauliflower that I had so I cut things in half, added capers per Giada’s recipe and used a little more cheese.  Please check Penny’s site for her recipe and photos.

Cauliflower Gratin – adapted from Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen

18 oz of cauliflower florets
Kosher salt
3 slices of bacon, diced and cooked crispy - see note
1 T. bacon grease
1 1/2 T. flour
1 C. hot milk
1/4 C. capers, rinsed and drained
Salt and pepper to taste
1 C. finely grated Gruyere cheese, divided
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. bread crumbs - I used store bought
1 T. unsalted butter

Note:  I like to do it this way as I made less mess and used the bacon pan for the sauce.

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
2. Cook the cauliflower florets in a large pot of boiling salted water for 5 to 6 minutes, until tender but still firm.  Drain and add to a large bowl.
3. While the cauliflower cooks, heat 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat in a medium saucepan over low heat.  Add the flour, stirring constantly for 2 minutes to make a blond roux. 
4. Slowly whisk the hot milk into the roux and stir until it comes to a boil.  Boil, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, or until thickened. 
5. Off the heat, add salt and pepper to taste, the capers, 2/3 cup of the Gruyere cheese and the Parmesan cheese.
6. Pour two thirds of the sauce over the cauliflower, along with the bacon, and carefully mix to coat the cauliflower with the sauce.
7. Pour the mixture into a greased 8x8x2-inch baking dish, scrapping out all of the sauce, and pour the remaining third of the sauce over the top. 
8.Combine the breadcrumbs with the remaining Gruyere and sprinkle on top.
9. Melt the tablespoon of butter and drizzle over the gratin. 

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is browned.

Here’s my plate.

I’m not a big fan of cooked beets, but I can eat them, and these were about as good as buttered beets can be.  The potatoes were outstanding as usual and Bev and I both thought the cauliflower was company worthy, just as Penny said, except, we'd omit the capers next time.  Even the SIL, who doesn't care for cooked cauliflower, thought it was pretty good.  Thanks for the recipe Penny.

All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.

One year ago:  Pork Rib Taste Test

Two years ago:  None


5/22/12  meal date


  1. Looks like the perfect veggie plate.. well except the beets, I just have not found my love for them yet. Although they still do look good :)

  2. Your vegetable dinner sounds great. My husband would definitely love the cauliflower gratin.

  3. Larry, With the exception of the beets, the meal looks great! Nothing like fresh potatoes...and I was relieved when I saw that your 'veggie' meal included some bacon and bacon grease for a bit of cheese! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  4. I think it looks great. Especially the beets! I guess I'm a rare breed, but that's ok. It would be nice if I lived about 30 minutes closer and could swing by for these dinners more often. See you Sunday!

  5. You got a delicious meal from your own garden. Nothing could be better.

  6. Delicious veggie meal from your garden. YUM---I'd love that cauliflower recipe...

    I like cooked beats so your meal would be wonderful, including the red taters....

    Makes me hungry.

  7. This looks like the perfect vegetarian dinner. I think I'd love everything.

  8. now thats my kind of cauliflower gratin, loaded with a creamy cheese gravy... and nice taters...
    we are just now starting to pick tomatoes, the sad thing is in about a month it will be too hot/humid for them to grow any more...

  9. I made a cauliflower gratin a few times last year and my boys still talk about them. I need to make another one soon! Your potatoes look delicious. (I should know better by now than to stop and read your posts before breakfast!)

  10. It looks a perfectly cook vegetarian meal. The color of dish after cooking is perfect.


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