A round, white dish with Cauliflower, Leek Potato Gratin on top of a round wooden serving dish next to to glasses of red wine.

Cauliflower, Leek & Potato Gratin

Author Icon Michael Bonacini Nov 10 2021
Serving Time Icon 1 hr 40 Min
Serves Number Icon Serves 6-8

As seen on Breakfast Television!

You’ll want to save this showstopper recipe! This Cauliflower, Leek & Potato Gratin recipe crafted by renowned Chef Michael Bonacini is made with delicious 5 Brothers Cheese from Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese and Mountainoak 2 Year Gouda from Mountainoak Cheese. Showcasing the fall flavours grown in Ontario, the béchamel sauce is the finishing touch to this beautiful recipe. Paired with Henry of Pelham’s Pinot Noir, this recipe’s sweet and nutty notes are balanced by hints of fruitiness and acidity of the wine creating a delicious aftertaste.

Bottle of Henry of Pelham Pinot Noir

Wine Pairing

Pair this exquisite dish with Henry of Pelham's Pinot Noir, a delicate wine that highlights the bright red berry, cola, and violet aromatics typically found in Niagara Pinot Noir.

Please enjoy responsibly.

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Prep 30 Min

Cook 1 Hr 10 Min


Béchamel Sauce

Herb Crust

5 Brothers Cheese

This is a hand crafted washed rind cow's milk cheese, from Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese, that combines traits from Gouda and another Swiss variety called Appenzeller. It's available once it has been aged for 8 months. It is delicately aged on pine planks adding robust flavours to the cheese. It has creamy and rich flavours with sweeter overtones and distinctive eyes throughout the body of the cheese.


Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).


Step 2

To make the béchamel sauce, in a good size saucepan, melt a ¼ cup of butter over medium heat, add in a ¼ cup of flour, stir continuously, and gently heat over medium heat and cook for 1-2 minutes constantly stirring.


Step 3

Slowly add in a little bit of the room temperature whole milk, stirring continually and adding more and more of the milk to create a smooth lump free sauce. You can use a wire whisk to help break up any lumps that may have formed. Add the whole clove of garlic, salt, pepper and a little bit of nutmeg; allow gentle simmering to cook the flour. The consistency should be on the slightly thick side. If needed, add a little more milk.


Step 4

Once you have cooked the base for at least 15 minutes, add in the 5 Brothers Cheese and the Mountainoak Aged Gouda for a rich, decadent taste and texture.


Step 5

Adjust the seasoning as needed and keep the sauce off to one side, covered with parchment paper or plastic wrap.


Step 6

Take the peeled potatoes, cut into 4, and slice the pieces approximately a ¼-inch thick. Cook for approximately 15 minutes in salted water.


Step 7

While the potatoes are cooking, finely slice the leeks and gently sweat them down in a small pan using a ½ tsp of butter and 1 or 2 tsps of water. Season lightly with salt and pepper, stirring from time to time for 8 – 10 minutes.


Step 8

Take the cauliflower, trim the base and remove any large outer leaves. Cut the cauliflower in half and then cut each half into additional 3 or 4 wedge shape pieces. Depending on the size of your cauliflower, cook in boiling salted water for approximately 4 – 5 minutes (slightly undercooked).


Step 8

Drain the cooked potatoes and place in the bottom of a deep sided oven safe dish (2 – 2 ½ inches deep & 10 -12 inches in diameter). Take the cooked and well-drained cauliflower and arrange each wedge in a circular fashion at the bottom of the dish.


Step 9

Take the cooked leeks and fold them into the béchamel sauce, pour the béchamel sauce over the top of the cauliflower. The sauce should be thick enough to coat the cauliflower and fill the bottom of the dish. Then place into a hot oven, 350°F (180°C) for approximately 5 – 7 minutes to thoroughly heat through and be piping hot, then broil for 3 to 4 minutes to create a gratin look from the melted cheese and sauce.


Step 10

Take the breadcrumb mixture, sprinkle all over the top of the cauliflower, and place under the broiler to give a light golden toasting to the crumbs. Keep a close eye as it toasts quickly. Remove and serve.


Herb Crust


Step 1

In a food processor, place the roughly chopped dried crusty bread along with mixed herbs, a pinch of salt and twist of pepper.


Step 2

Pulse the food processor for multiple 10 second bursts to create a course slightly green flavourful herb crust.

Chef Tip

- You can substitute potatoes for parsnips, cauliflower for broccoli and during the holiday season, a bowl of buttered brussel sprouts, and a bowl of tangy cranberry sauce completes the holiday meal.

- You can use any great Ontario flavourful cheeses.

- You can prepare the cauliflower and potatoes ahead of time and the leaks can be prepared and cooked ahead of time as well.

Photo of chef Michael Bonacini cooking his cauliflower, leek & potato gratin recipe.

Chef Michael Bonacini on Breakfast Television

Check out Chef Michael Bonacini’s segment on Breakfast Television where he demonstrates how to incorporate Ontario-crafted cheeses into any meal, all while cooking up his incredible Cauliflower, Leak & Potato Gratin recipe!


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Michael Bonacini

Celebrity Chef & Co-Founder of Oliver & Bonacini Hospitality

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