Cauliflower, Romanesco & Broccoli Gratin

November/December 2013

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This cauliflower-and-broccoli gratin is healthier than traditional gratins thanks to a sauce made with low-fat milk and just enough full-flavored cheese to keep it rich without extra saturated fat and calories. For a healthier cheese-crust topping, opt for cheese crackers made without partially hydrogenated oils.

Cauliflower, Romanesco & Broccoli Gratin

Makes: 12 servings, 2/3 cup each

Serving Size: 2/3 cup

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 14 cups bite-size florets from 2-3 heads broccoli, cauliflower and/or romanesco
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 cup shredded extra-sharp white Cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
  • 1/4 cup snipped fresh chives
  • 3/4 cup crushed cheese-flavored crackers
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add florets and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Drain in a colander and immediately rinse with cold water until cool. Drain well. Spread on a baking sheet or kitchen towel and pat with a clean towel to soak up any excess water.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch (or similar-size shallow ovenproof dish) with cooking spray.
  3. Combine milk, mustard, garlic powder and salt in the large pot; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Combine cornstarch and water in a small bowl; whisk into the simmering milk. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, whisking. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, whisking, for 2 minutes. Add Cheddar, Gruyère and chives; whisk until smooth. Remove from heat.
  4. Add the florets to the pot and gently stir to coat with the cheese sauce. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Combine crackers and oil in a small bowl and sprinkle over the vegetables.
  5. Bake until the cheese sauce is bubbling and the florets are starting to brown on top, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 1, cover and refrigerate florets for up to 1 day. Proceed with Steps 2-5 about 1 hour before serving.


Per serving: 221 calories; 12 g fat (5 g sat, 5 g mono); 20 mg cholesterol; 21 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 9 g protein; 3 g fiber; 427 mg sodium; 311 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (88% daily value), Folate (27% dv), Calcium (23% dv), Vitamin A (19% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 1 1/2

Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 1/2 high fat meat

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Recipe Categories

Ease of Preparation
Type of Dish
Side dish, vegetable
Total Time
1 hour or less
8 or more
Main Ingredient
Vegetarian, other
Preparation/ Technique

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