Cauliflower in Béchamel – if you haven’t tried it, your mind is about to be blown. Simple ingredients are combined the right way to achieve maximum deliciousness.
Cauliflower is one of winter’s wonders. In her ruffled white coat, she is both delicate and creamy with a gentle bite of her coniferous vegetable heritage (yes, I just wrote that). And while the world thinks cauliflower needs to become pizza crust, or gnocchi, or a smoothie base, I think we can celebrate just as-is too.
This dish is an especially nice way to highlight this gorgeous babe. Unlike a gratin, a simple béchamel brings out the natural sweetness in cauliflower which is delightfully offset by the nutmeg. Together, you’re left with pillows of supple cauliflower clouds immersed in dairy heaven. Top it all with a little fresh parsley. Or don’t. The choice is yours. It’ll probably be hard to keep yourself from just digging in with a fork.
Trust me…this’ll get you to eat your vegetables.
You can also whip this up with broccoli or Romanesco, just swap either one in for the cauliflower. This sauce is amazing on almost everything, and you can get my step-by-step gluten-free Béchamel here.
Cauliflower in Béchamel
- 1 head cauliflower cut into 1″ segments
- 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 4 Tbsp. Gluten-Free flour blend
- 1 pint whole milk
- 1/8 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup Gluten-Free breadcrumbs or superfine Gluten-Free cracker crumbs
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Steam cauliflower until just fork tender, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a heavy bottomed 2-quart sauce pan, melt butter and add flour. Stir until it sizzles and is well incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add milk and wisk constantly until the mixture thickens, about 7 minutes. Add nutmeg, cayenne, and salt to taste.
- Mix béchamel with cooked cauliflower. Add to baking dish and top with breadcrumbs. Bake 25 min or until top is brown and bubbly.
Photos: Meg van der Kruik
Y’all. This is worth doing.