Thursday, January 8, 2015

Roasted Cauliflower with Cheese Sauce

Cauliflower is one of those poor vegetables that often gets neglected. You rarely see it on restaurant menus. There are limited recipes for this vegetable.

More than likely you grew up eating it steamed, smothered in Velveeta style cheese.

While I do love it just sliced thin and roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper; this is a delicious new take on how to prepare a cauliflower. And it looks beautiful setting on your table.

Roasted Cauliflower with Cheese Sauce
modified from Joy the Baker

For the Cauliflower:
1 head cauliflower, cleaned
2 tbsp. salt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp. whole black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. smoked paprika

For the cheese sauce:
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. spicy brown mustard
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste

Place cauliflower, salt, oil, lemon juice, butter, red pepper flakes, peppercorns, and bay leaf into a large pot or dutch oven. Fill with water until cauliflower is submerged. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. If you like a fairly firm texture, simmer until just beginning to soften. If you like your cauliflower fairly soft, simmer until easily pierced with a fork. Drain.

Meanwhile, in a 10 inch oven safe skillet, combine butter and flour for the sauce. Cook over medium-low heat until the roux is lightly browned. Stir in milk, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, cheese, salt, and pepper. Remove from heat. Place cauliflower in center of skillet, drizzle with olive oil or melted butter, sprinkle with smoked paprika and additional red pepper flakes if desired.

Place under low broiler for 3-5 minutes until cauliflower is beginning to brown.

Cut into wedges and serve!

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