Ezra Pound Cake always has the best of the best recipes. Truly.
This one is no different. We eat a lot of roasted or steamed cauliflower and I was looking for a new preparation when I stumbled across this beauty in my Google Reader.
Cheesy, comforting — it’s basically like vegetarian macaroni and cheese, just like Rebecca says! It’s also a delicious side dish, and the cheesiness of it all makes it appealing even to folks who don’t like vegetables 😉
1 (3-pound) head cauliflower, cut into florets
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups hot milk
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg 3/4 cup freshly grated Gruyere, divided (can be replaced with cheddar)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 cup bread crumbs
– Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and bring a large pot of water to boil; add the cauliflower and cook for 5-6 minutes, until its tender but still firm. Drain and set aside.
– In another medium saucepan, over low heat, melt 2 tbsp of butter. Add the flour, stirring constantly for 2 minutes, then pour the hot milk (I just heated it up in the microwave in a glass measuring cup) into the butter-flour mixture, and stir until it comes to a boil. Boil, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, or until thickened.
– Take the pan off the heat, and add 1 teaspoon of salt, the pepper, 1/2 cup of the Gruyere, and the Parmesan.
– Pour 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of an 8 by 11 by 2-inch baking dish. Place the drained cauliflower on top, and then spread the remaining 2/3 of the sauce evenly on top.
– Combine the bread crumbs with the remaining 1/4 cup of Gruyere and sprinkle on top.
– Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, and drizzle over the gratin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is browned. Serve hot or at room temperature.