Keeping right along with the broccoli family, cauliflower may be a difficult vegetable to be enthusiastic over. However, just as with broccoli, if doctored up and cooked correctly and creatively, cauliflower can become a recurring favorite in your household. Whether you are hoping to get the nutritional value of the vegetable for kids or adults, this recipe is sure to get the taste buds watering. Promise!
- 2 large heads of cauliflower, cut into florets
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 Tbs. butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 cups hot milk
- 2 cups grated cheese; 1 cup cheddar and 1 cup gruyere
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Begin by turning the heads of raw cauliflower upside down to cut into smaller florets for roasting. This way, the florets won’t break off into as many irregular sized pieces. Cut straight through the stem until you have a collection of medium sized florets.
Layer a baking sheet with foil and arrange separated florets and drizzle olive oil over top. Sprinkle all florets with light salt and pepper and begin to gently toss so the florets are fully coated in the olive oil mixture before baking.
Place the baking sheet into the oven and allow cauliflower florets to bake for 20 minutes. Keep an eye on the florets to be sure they don’t burn depending on the heat strength of your oven.
While the cauliflower is baking, it’s time to prepare the warm cheese sauce!
Using a medium-sized pot, heat to medium high on the stove with butter and whisk in the flour for approximately one minute. Immediately whisk in hot milk and continue to whisk it until it begins to thicken – you are creating the thickness of the cheese sauce.
Begin to add in the cheese, a handful, and one cup at a time. Stir in the cheese until it melts into the sauce.
Add in pepper and continue to stir. You should have a thick, creamy, light-colored cheese sauce.
Once cauliflower is finished baking and has a slight crisp, remove the baking sheet.
Pour warm cheese sauce into a serving bowl with a ladle. Use tongs to transfer the florets into individual dishes, and have people ladle their preferred amount of warmed cheese sauce directly over the cauliflower.
SERVE! IT! UP! At this point, you won’t even taste the cauliflower, as it will melt in your mouth in decadent warm cheese sauce. This is a great side dish for cooked meats, fish or…just about anything.