Cauliflower and Broccoli Gratin

When I was a little girl, I did not even differentiate between a cauliflower and a broccoli and referred to the broccoli as ‘a green cauliflower’. However, I did take a strong liking to both and whichever one was being served to me, I ate it with pleasure. And that remains unchanged as of today.

IMG_6359 (1)

Fast forward 30 years, roles have evolved and being a mother, I am curious to know about the nutrition value and benefits of each and every food group that is being fed to my children. While cauliflower and broccoli are no longer the same to me, they are both highly nutritious, rich in vitamin C and fiber. Whenever I find that I have both in my pantry, I tend to combine them in my dishes.

IMG_6364 (1)

This is a great way of eating them together where the vegetables are slightly crunchy, flavoured with herbs and covered in a delicious bechamel sauce and a caramelised cheesy crust. It makes for a nice side dish with meat or fish but can be enjoyed on its own with some crusty bread.

IMG_6367 (1)

I prefer to microwave the vegetables for a few minutes to soften them rather than parboiling them in water. It does help save time along with retaining the nutrition within the vegetables. It’s a simple dish really and I feel the key to making it look and taste delicious is to get a nice caramelisation on the top. You can cook it in a large baking dish or if serving as a side dish to guests, bake them in individual ramekins. In that case, the baking time will need to be reduced.

IMG_6365 (1)


Cauliflower and Broccoli Gratin
Serves 4

1/2 head (approx 300 g) cauliflower cut into florets
1/2 head broccoli (approx 300 g) cut into florets
50 g butter
50 g (1/3 cup) plain flour
500 ml (about 2 cups) milk
handful of baby spinach leaves
a few thyme leaves or any other herbs
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup cheddar cheese (or any hard cheese of your choice), grated
1 tsp parmesan cheese, finely grated
Salt and Pepper for seasoning

Place the cauliflower and broccoli florets in a microwave safe bowl, cover and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Alternately, place cauliflower and broccoli into a large saucepan. Cover with water. Bring to the boil on high. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 8-10 minutes until tender.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Lightly grease a baking dish/casserole dish and keep aside.
Heat butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat until foaming, then add flour and stir continuously until it turns light brown in color (1-2 minutes). Gradually add the milk, whisking continuously until smooth and incorporated. Season the sauce with salt and pepper as per taste.

Arrange the cauliflower and broccoli along with spinach and thyme leaves in the baking dish. Pour the sauce over. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs, cheddar and parmesan cheese. Bake until golden and bubbly (about 20-25 minutes). If the top does not brown after 25 minutes, change the mode to ‘broil’ for 5 minutes.






  1. says

    I love anything in gratin form! So delicious… broccoli and cauliflower go perfectly with the cheesy sauce. Love your presentation of this dish Sonali. The mixture of the vegetables definitely offers the best of both worlds :) great that it has a nutritional punch too! xx

  2. says

    We eat more of caulis than broccoli. Don’t know why, maybe I am aware of what to cook with caulis than broccoli, usually steamed.

    Gratin is certainly tempting especially with the spinach and the main attraction is —- cheese. Not sure if my other half will love this dish but let me try to push it through.

  3. says

    I love broccoli and cauliflower and I was just recently wondering why I don’t have the two together. You are reading my mind. This looks delicious; I just want to dig right in. Great tip about microwaving them first, too. I always boil!

  4. says

    I make so egging similar for a thanksgiving every year because my daughter loves it. Mine has cream cheese mixed with the bechamel.
    I know this tastes good! I love broccoli and cauliflower, 2 of my favourite vegetables, and they really are so good with a creamy sauce.
    Love your photos and the crunchy top :)


  5. RLFord says

    Why do you assume that everyone has a microwave?
    As soon as I saw that, I stopped reading your recipe. I steam my vegetables or roast root veggies in my toaster oven, and I’m sure I can figure out a way to make a gratin without microwaving anything.

    • Sugar et al says

      Thank you for stopping by! I do not assume that everyone has a microwave and hence an alternate method was listed in the recipe.I am also aware that there are other methods of doing this however I can write about the method that has been tested out by me. Thank you for sharing them here.

  6. Sugar et al says

    Hi Fred, thank you for stopping by! Low fat cream cheese or ricotta are low in cholesterol. Also, low fat mozarella should do. If you are using cream cheese or ricotta, dollop them over the breadcrumbs in the recipe before baking. I hope this helps.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *