Cauliflower florets smothered in a decadent cheese sauce and baked until bubbly-hot and irresistibly golden.
Hello, classic British comfort food. So nice to meet you.
The cheese sauce is just like the one I use for mac & cheese making this a low-carb stand-in.
I love that.
It starts with butter and flour, the roux or thickener that will help make the sauce smooth and creamy rather than gloppy and grainy. There’s whole milk and a touch of Dijon mustard to boost the cheesy flavor because they absolutely positively love each other. I hardly ever make anything cheesy without a dash of Dijon.
You want to use a good-quality extra sharp aged cheddar cheese, the block style not pre-shredded. Please. For the love of cheese. It’s not just cheese you’re getting in those convenience bags but chemicals and preservatives to keep it from sticking together and growing mold(eww) – it doesn’t melt as well and can muck up your sauce. <— End rant.
The sauce is poured over cauliflower that’s been lightly steamed and sprinkled with bread crumbs and Parmesan for a little crunchy topping then baked.
The cauliflower kind of ends up tasting like potatoes – someone I know had seconds and they absolutely hate cauliflower. Copious amounts of cheese will make a cauliflower lover out of anyone. Yes, lover.
I think it’s called cauliflower cheese rather than cheesy cauliflower because there’s more cheese than cauliflower.
Totally OK in my book.
- 1 big head cauliflower or 2 small
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 6 ounces extra sharp aged cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
- 6 ounces extra sharp agedwhite cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
- ¾ teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
- Cut the cauliflower into big florets and steam until just fork tender.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. and butter a 9x11-inch casserole dish.
- In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan melt the butter over medium-low heat. Stir in the flour and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
- Slowly whisk in the milk and turn the heat up to medium-high. Bring to a simmer and stir 2 -3 minutes.
- Whisk in the mustard. Turn the heat down to low.
- Add the cheese a handful at a time, stirring until completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat.
- Place all the cauliflower in the baking pan. Pour the cheese sauce over it.
- Toss the bread crumbs and Parmesan together. Sprinkle it over the cauliflower.
- Bake 25 minutes until bubbly and golden. Let set 5 - 10 minutes before serving.
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