Broccoli and Cauliflower Au Gratin

Total Time:
1 hr 25 min
30 min
55 min

6 to 8 servings

  • 1 stick plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 3 pounds cauliflower, trimmed and cut into large florets
  • 1 1/2 pounds broccoli, trimmed and cut into large florets
  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 8 ounces grated cheddar cheese, about 3 cups
  • 1 cup fine dry bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons Essence, recipe follows
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 3-quart casserole dish with 2 teaspoons of butter and set aside.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower and cook until tender but still firm, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well.

Return the water to a boil, add the broccoli and cook until tender but still firm, about 5 minutes. Drain in a colander, refresh under cold running water, and drain again.

Place the cauliflower in the prepared pan and top with the broccoli.

In a medium heavy saucepan, melt the remaining stick of butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour, whisking constantly over medium heat until thickened into a blond roux, about 4 minutes. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons salt and the cayenne, stir, and gradually add the cold milk, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens, about 4 minutes. Bring to a simmer and add the cheese, whisking constantly until the cheese is melted. Remove from the heat.

Pour the cheese sauce over the vegetables, gently rapping the casserole dish on the counter top to dispel air bubbles.

In a bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, oil, and Essence and evenly distribute over the top of the vegetables. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano

1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.

Yield: about 2/3 cup

Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.

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    Holy Cow! calls for drastically over-cooking the veggies...turns them into mush!!! IYuck!
    For maybnot4u and anyone else who thought this great recipe was awful, you may have done what I did the first time. Start by mixing the "Essence" recipe, then measure out the 2 teaspoons of Essence the au gratin calls for, and put the rest of the Essence away. That way, there is no chance anyone in a busy Thanksgiving kitchen will add the entire Essence recipe! One of us did exactly that the first time, and it was pretty bad. We've made it every Thanksgiving since with no problems, and my whole family loves it.
    I make this every holiday... And it is to die for.. My whole family loves it.. Tis the first thing that is eatten all up at the table... We love it...
    Savory dish with just the right amount of "kick". A cheesy-fantastic way to get the kids eating their veggies. My family ate almost all of it, in one dinner! 
    P.S. Thanks for including the Essence Seasoning recipe-perfect timing! We had an Early Thanksgiving Dinner last weekend with my brother and his family. He shared how he had used the rub on his turkey...DELISH!
    Made this as something different for our early Thanksgiving dinner. Would not make it again....even my husband -- who generally loves anything-- hated it. It ended up in the trash.
    This was really good. I drink soy milk so that is what I used in this recipe, but it was still really good. I used 4 cups of milk instead of 6 and also used about 2 cups of light old cheddar cheese instead of three. It was really yummy! :
    My son-in law made this dish for Christmas and it was super delicious , so I'm making for New Year...Thank you...HAPPY NEW YEAR
    This dish was very good, and everyone seemed to love it. I didn't use exact amounts of each veggie (I used more broccoli than cauliflower, and I pretty much doubled the recipe, but I didn't double the sauce ingredients because I was afraid it would be too much, and the amount of sauce I made actually ended up being just right. Just enough to coat the veggies and create a nice sauce, but not so much that they were swimming in it. This would be a great dish for a potluck or family gathering.
    It is a Keeper . I added a half cup of graded cheddar cheese on top before the bread or Panko crumbs, Of which I like adds a crunch. :
    Love this recipe. Served it for the holidays and everyone loved it! 
    Emeril never lets me down. I made this with potatoes instead of cauliflower but for the most part kept with the rest of the recipe. The end result was excellent. Tender potatoes in a creamy Au gratin with just enough broccoli to give it a nice flavor. Quick and easy too!
    It was great and easy :
    Loved this recipe. My husband thought I was a demi-god. I'm pregnant and it's a great way to get your vegetables in a bunch of creamy goodness. Emeril never fails!
    My family loved this recipe. The only things I did differently was I didn't cook my veggies in the water as long as the recipe calls for (about 3-4 mins) and I substituted 2 cups of the milk with heavy cream. Great recipe Emeril! Thanks!
    This is definitely an intermediate recipe that could fail if you can't make a roux-remember to cook the roux for at least 3-4 minutes to get rid of the flour taste.

    To me cooking isn't just following a recipe - looking at some of the ingredients I could see some of the changes I needed to make to suit the tastes of myself and my family.

    1. We like a thicker, creamier sauce so I replaced 2 cups of the milk with 2 cups of evaporated milk and one beaten egg (do not attempt the egg addition unless you know how to temper an egg into a hot sauce/liquid-you'll just wind up with scrambled egg pieces if you just throw it in).

    2. Also, looking at the recipe, it seemed as if it would be a bit bland for us so I added 1/2 tsp of dry mustard to the roux and replaced 1/2 cup of the cheddar cheese with a 1/2 cup of pepper jack....not enough to CHANGE the taste...just enough to boost the flavor a bit.

    3. Everyone likes the crunchy topping...I doubled the amount of breadcrumbs, making 1/2 of them panko and increased the olive oil to 1/3 cup and added 1/2 extra of the essence.

    The result... super creamy broccoli au gratin (We left out the Cauliflower and used all broccoli- we don't like cauliflower) that had people arguing over who was going to get the last scoop!
    i made this last Thanksgiving for our family potluck and it was delicious!I have been volunteered to make it again this year. Roux is a little tricky to master if you havn't done it before, but it is pretty simple to make once youve done it. Very flavorful recipe, i love Emeril!
    Like another reviewer, I made this b/c I had a head of cauliflower and a big bunch of broccoli in the fridge that needed preparing. I cut the recipe in half. But since I used pre-shredded cheese (which I think I dryer than freshly shredded), I didn't cut the cheese amount in half. So I pout approx 3/4 in the roux and sprinkled the rest on top. I also added a smidge more milk and a dash of nutmeg to roux. My 5 friends and I practically ate the entire dish! A couple guests went back for seconds and thirds! Wow! Instead of blanching the broccoli and cauliflower separately, I put them both in a large glass bowl with water and cooked on high for 10 minutes. Couldn't tell the difference! I may make this again for Mother's Day!

    I made this recipe after having tons of cauliflower & broccoli left over from a veggie tray I had made for a party. I cut the recipe in half. IT WAS GREAT! I have read the other reviews and agree with most that it is fab but cannot begin to understand those who said it tasted awful?...Sorry, but you must have burnt your sauce or something!
    I had no idea what to expect but my famiily of 3 could not stop eating it & we still had another 2 serving left over! I have made a broccoli casserole in the past with velveeta that was a recipe of my mother-in-laws, but I was not that much of a fan, but THIS is what I will be making from now on. I may try to "lighten" up the recipe a bit next time though by using a bit less butter, 2 or 1% milk and skipping on the olive oil for the topping all together.
    Over the past 15 years of watching Emeril, wanting to be able to cook fabulously despite distractions, like Emeril. This was my first attempt at an "intermediate" recipe. I didn't "gradually add" the milk, I just poured it all in and it was close to scorching before simmering, so I pulled it off the heat, added the cheese and poured it over the vegetables. It still turned out with a very silky texture and the spices were awesome. My daughter (my toughest critic) ate the whole serving, and before eating anything else! I didn't feel like the recipe was too much work and thought the re-use of the vegetable water simplified my life and was a "green" approach, and will make my plants doubly happy. What made me so happy was the forgiving/adjustable nature of the recipe. I get really frustrated when I mess up a recipe and have to throw away food/money, and with the other variations and substitutes that can be used, this recipe will get used more than others to go with poultry, beef, pork, fish or sometimes we just have a vegetable dish for a meal and this is perfect for that!
    My family loved this!
    I usually make potatoes au gratin but was craving a vegetable. I'll admit I had to use what was in the kitchen. So, I used frozen veggies and substituted panko in place of bread crumbs. I also added grated parmesan cheese to the bread mixture. My husband and I really enjoyed the creamy cheesy with the crispy topping.
    Made this for Thanksgiving instead of green beans. Had just about 2lbs broccoli only and made 1/2 the cheese sauce recipe. Everyone loved it. I used panko break crumbs as mentioned below (Ritz crackers would be great) and threw a bit more shredded cheese on top. I finally mixed up the Essence that I'd seen on many recipes and I'm glad I did. It added great flavors I would not have put all together myself. Now I have a small jar of it to use on other things. I will make this with cauliflower also, but a head of it is so much and I'm usually only cooking for 2-4. Maybe I'll get some from the salad bar...! For those who thought it was bland, you have to like white sauce to begin with and remember to taste it and add kosher salt and pepper (in this case, after the cheese is added) until you are satisfied or it doesn't have a lot of flavor.
    This is the best recipe for my 2 favorite veggies. I plan on having this on holidays epecially. and at the very least 2 times a month. It's a hit with the kids too.
    I made this for mother's day and it was a hit. I would use panko next time instead of the fine bread crumbs. I think the panko may give it a little more crunch. Other than that, I wouldn't change a thing....
    I cut this recipe because I didn't need as much + added a bit more cayenne. It was such a wonderful taste. We had to just say no to a third helping. I'll make this dish a staple in my "having company over for dinner" but do some of the prep work the day before a dinner party. Thank you, Thank you.
    Tasty but hardly worth the mess and time to make. I dirtied so many pans and dishes having to par boil and drain and measure and make cheese sauce and finally use a large casserole. Also, it was pretty tedious and hard to time - between making the cheese sauce and trying to par boil the vegies and make sure nothing was overcooking, I was a little frazzled. Then there was way too much cheese sauce. I think you could cut back to about 2/3 of the sauce recipe and have plenty. As it was, I felt like I wasted milk and cheese since the vegies were swimming in it. If I make it again, I'll use some short-cuts and make it semi-homemade!
    Loved it! A friend was putting together for me and accidentally mixed the essence into the casserole and it was still great! Will make it again!
    This is a wonderful recipe and every time I make it for a function I an asked for the recipe.
    I always throw in whatever I have in the fridge - sundried tomatoes, mushrooms etc with some hot pepper. It's great and reheats well too.
    These are worth the work!!!! I am not a bread crumb fan so I just mixed 1/2 the essance into the cheese mixture and and sprinkled the remainder over the top. I also doubled the cheese and they were great!!!!!
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