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Alternative gratin toppings?

queueueuq Dec 22, 2012 11:41 AM

Most gratin recipes call for a topping of bread crumbs/panko but do you have a favourite alternative? (I know crackers are used sometimes but I prefer to avoid anything pre-processed.) This would be for a saucy cauliflower/cheese gratin.

  1. j
    jbsiegel Jan 6, 2014 05:25 PM

    More cheese? It'll get nice and crispy if you broil it at the end...

    1. Atomic76 Jan 6, 2014 04:58 PM

      I don't know about the broccoli thing, personally I would rather have that in the pasta dish, rather than all dried out and chewy on top of it.

      How about some crisped up meats? Crumbled bacon is obvious, or perhaps try some other stuff like dicing and frying up some salami until it's crisp.

      Or perhaps make some parmesan crisps, then crumble them over it after it comes out of the oven.

      Or maybe go the fried onion route. On The Chew, they made their own home made ones by deep frying breaded shallot rings.

      Some others on here mentioned nuts already, but slivered almonds were the first thing that came to mind when I read this.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Atomic76
        queueueuq Jan 6, 2014 11:29 PM

        Thanks, tried the fried onion idea tonight and it worked well! I didn't bread them, as I wanted to stick to avoiding breadcrumbs. (If I ate meat, I'd definitely go for bacon.)

        Agreed, the broccoli doesn't sound appealing but if anyone tries it, I'd love to hear how it turned out.

      2. LotusRapper Jan 6, 2014 03:20 PM

        Phyllo sheets ?

        Crunchy noodles (use Asian noodles) ?

        1. c
          Coribdx Jan 6, 2014 01:29 PM

          Crushed butter crackers, ground potato chips

          1. monavano Jan 6, 2014 01:24 PM

            Corn flakes might make an interesting topping.

            1. queueueuq Jan 6, 2014 11:06 AM

              Reviving my year-old question because I just saw this article: http://www.thekitchn.com/broccoli-the...

              Has anyone tried this?

              1 Reply
              1. re: queueueuq
                chefj Jan 6, 2014 01:03 PM

                You never responded to the first replies l - :

              2. i
                Isolda Dec 22, 2012 02:26 PM

                Ground nuts, especially almonds and walnuts with a little thyme and super-sharp grated cheddar or parm are delicious. That's my go-to gratin topping when I know my nut-allergic son won't be eating with us.

                1. ipsedixit Dec 22, 2012 12:12 PM

                  Puff pastry perhaps?

                  Sort of like a vegetable pot pie?

                  1. e
                    escondido123 Dec 22, 2012 12:00 PM

                    I like a browned top rather than a crunchy one, so I finish the dish with a layer of cheese drizzled with heavy cream. It makes it so brown and yummy.

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