- 1 medium cauliflower
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- ½ cup crème fraiche (see note)
- ¾ c. shredded gruyere cheese
- 3 Tbsp. bread crumbs
- 3 Tbsp. hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
- 2 Tbsp. flat parsley for garnish
Butter a 2-quart baking dish or gratin pan. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut cauliflower into small florets. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt generously. Add cauliflower florets to pot and cook until tender, but not mushy, about 5 minutes. Drain florets and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Toss cauliflower with crème fraiche and half the cheese in the prepared baking dish. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle remaining cheese over cauliflower, then top with bread crumbs and hazelnuts. Bake on center rack until cheese has melted and bread crumbs and nuts are golden, 20-25 minutes or more. Garnish with parsley. Serves 5 or 6. Note: you can make crème fraiche by whisking 1 cup whipping cream with 1/3 c. sour cream in a nonreactive bowl. Let stand at room temperature until thickened, 6 hours or longer; then cover and refrigerate.
Makes about 1 1/3 cups.