I combined a couple of recipes – one from ‘Barefoot in Paris’ by Ina Garten, and one from Cooking Light – to come up with what’s below. I’m sure the sauce would be marvelous on just about anything…enjoy!
1 large head of cauliflower – 2 to 3 lbs. – cut into similar-sized florets
2 T. olive or canola oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 to 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
3 T. flour
2 c. hot milk – I used 1 %
1/2 to 3/4 c. grated Gruyere
1/2 c. grated Parmesan
1 t. salt AND 1/2 t. freshly ground pepper AND 1/4 t. nutmeg
Topping – optional
1/2 c. fresh breadcrumbs or panko crumbs
1 T. olive oil or melted butter
1/4 c. grated cheese (Gruyere or Parmesan)
Preheat the oven to 400 and lightly grease a good-sized casserole. Drop the cauliflower into a large pot of boiling water for 5 minutes, and drain thoroughly.
In a medium pot (I used my non-stick skillet), heat the oil over medium heat and saute the onion and garlic for a few minutes until it’s just starting to soften. Whisk in the flour and keep whisking until the flour is integrated – it will be lumpy – then carefully pour in the hot milk and continue to whisk until the mixture comes to a boil. Boil for about a minute, while whisking, until it thickens.
Remove the pot or skillet from the heat and stir in the grated cheeses, salt, pepper and nutmeg, then pour about a third of the sauce across the bottom of your prepared casserole. Evenly add all of the well-drained cauliflower, and then cover it over with the rest of the sauce. If I was serving this to company, I’d definitely combine the ‘topping’ ingredients and sprinkle them on (and it would have made for a better picture), but it was super tasty as is. Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes until it’s bubbling and the top has just started to brown.