By Flavor & The Menu
May 5, 2020
“I never like to throw anything away, especially when it comes to vegetables,” says Alisha Elenz, Executive Chef of the modern Basque small plates restaurant Bar Biscay. So when she set her sights on developing her Cauliflower Gratin while minimizing waste, she looked at using the trim to intensify the vegetable’s mild, nutty flavor and stand up to the strong cheese in the sauce.
Elenz begins with the cauliflower trim, cooking it with garlic confit and milk until thickened, then adding this “cauliflower milk” to her béchamel, which includes Gruyère, Espelette and mojo de ajo. She coats cauliflower florets in the béchamel, then roasts them. Toasted breadcrumbs and dill provide the final touches. A great example of a well-executed veg-centric offering, Bar Biscay’s Cauliflower Gratin highlights the vegetable while ensuring craveability. “It’s a straightforward, simple dish,” says Elenz. “It has all the fatty flavors we love—cream, butter, cheese—with the texture and natural flavor of the cauliflower intact.”