Super simple cauliflower goodness that is absolutely fancy enough to serve to anyone! Borrowed from Eating Well, I cut back on the seeds just a titch, but otherwise this went over brilliantly with some grilled chicken and brown rice – enjoy!
2 large heads of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets (a good 2 lbs.)
1/4 c. butter AND 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced or minced
1/2 t. kosher salt AND 1/4 t. freshly ground pepper
1/3 c. flour AND 3 c. whole milk
1/4 c. minced fresh chives (or dried chives, or dried minced onion)
1/2 t. cayenne – optional or to taste
~1 c. grated Parmesan – or another strong, hard cheese
2 T. toasted sesame seeds AND 1 t. caraway seeds
1 T. nigella seeds (or poppy seeds, or black sesame seeds)
Preheat the oven to 425 and butter a 9 x 13 casserole. In a large pot or non-stick skillet, melt the butter and once it starts to sizzle add in the garlic, salt and pepper and cook and stir/whisk for a quick minute. Add in the flour and continue to whisk until there’s no trace of flour and then while continuing to whisk, slowly pour in the milk. Work the mix to get out the lumps and bring this sauce to a low simmer to allow it to thicken a bit.
Once the sauce has thickened, turn off the heat, carefully add in all of the cauliflower, the chives and the cayenne (if using) and use a sturdy spatula to fold everything together and then scrape it all into your prepared casserole. Smooth out the top and bake for about 30 minutes until it’s bubbling throughout.
Remove the casserole from the oven and sprinkle generously and evenly with the cheese and all of the seeds. Return the goodness to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes until the top is beautifully browned, or alternatively, pop it under the broiler for a few minutes to crisp it up.