Gratin, a classic French dish of cream, butter, cheese, and starch, is crafted for winter comfort. In downtown Traverse City, Chef Guillaume at Bistro Foufou helps us eat our way through winter with delicious dishes such as this cauliflower gratin recipe.

Featured in the February 2016 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.

Cauliflower Gratin Recipe

Serves 8


  • 5 heads cauliflower
  • 1 ounce unsalted butter
1 cup shallots, chopped
  • 6 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 5 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 3 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 3/4 cups Emmenthaler cheese, grated
  • 1/2 panko bread crumbs


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Boil a large pot of salted water. Wash the cauliflower heads and cut them into small florets; discard leaves but reserve stems. Shock the cauliflower florets and stems in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain, set florets aside, add stems to food processor and pulse into a loose paste.
  2. Melt butter in a sauté pan over medium heat, add shallots and sauté until translucent, then add the processed cauliflower stems. Reduce heat to medium-low, add cream, thyme, bay leaves and parsley to the shallot/cauliflower mixture and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until cauliflower is soft. Remove from heat, discard herbs, add horseradish, curry powder and grated nutmeg, salt and pepper, to taste, and stir to combine. In a large mixing bowl combine the cream mixture with the cauliflower florets, taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  3. Transfer cauliflower mixture to a large buttered casserole dish, top with grated cheese and panko breadcrumbs and bake for 15 minutes.

For the full dish on winter comfort, check out the feature article Bistro Foufou Chef Guillaume Shares Gratin Recipes. Also, try his recipe for creamy potato Tartiflette gratin

More Northern Michigan Food & Drink

Photo(s) by Todd Zawistowski