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Cauliflower, Shrimp, and Proscuitto Gratin

Serves: Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1½ teaspoons unsalted butter, softened, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 (1½- to 2-pound) head cauliflower, cut into 1- to 2-inch florets (6 to 8 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons salt


  • Béchamel Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces uncooked frozen peeled small or medium shrimp, thawed
  • ½ cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 slices prosciutto or other ham, fat trimmed and slivered
  • ½ cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Procedures:

In this pretty gratin, cauliflower florets are blanketed with a thick béchamel and flavored with shrimp and slivers of prosciutto. The buttered bread crumbs and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano give the top both a golden glow and a crunchy texture, and the contrast of the soft cooked interior and the crisp topping is irresistible. Serve as a side dish with roasted fish, or as a light main dish, baking it in individual gratins and accompanying it with a green salad.
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Rub the 1½ teaspoons butter over the bottom and sides of a 12-inch oval gratin or 1½-quart shallow baking dish.


  2. Half fill a 6-quart Dutch oven with water and bring to a boil. Add the cauliflower and salt and boil, uncovered, for 3 minutes, or until barely tender. Drain in a colander and set aside.


  3. Make the béchamel sauce: In a 1½- to 2-quart saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the flour, stir with a flat whisk until mixture is smooth, and then continue to cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Gradually add the milk and cream while whisking constantly until smooth. Continue cooking, whisking gently, for 5 minutes, or until the sauce boils and thickens. Add the chives, lemon zest, salt, and pepper.


  4. Spread the cauliflower in the prepared gratin. Sprinkle with the shrimp, peas, and prosciutto. Pour the béchamel sauce evenly over the top.


  5. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in a 10-inch skillet and remove from the heat. Add the bread crumbs and cheese to the butter and toss to coat. Sprinkle the crumbs evenly on the top of the gratin.


  6. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the top is golden.


  7. Let the gratin rest for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with a large spoon.

by Sur La Table & Andrews McMeel Publishing

 
 
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