Ready in 45 minutes
Something wonderful happens to cauliflower when combined with bechamel and lots of cheese...I can't fully describe how velvety smooth and creamy this is. The cheese sauce is absolute heaven, the perfect complement to cauliflower. The topping adds lots of flavor and a little crunch. A definite comfort food!
"Great recipe. Love the panko crust & am thinking that I can use it on just about anything. My excitement could be my lack of cooking prowess, but I loved the topping. Bechamel sauce also a great recipe to have. All in all a great side dish and some basics for greating cooking going forward! Caulifower isn't a hit overall with my set, so I won't make this again, but will use it over & over with other veggies!"- TravelJewels
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To make Bechamel: In a heavy-bottomed 2-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. When butter starts to foam, add flour and mix using a wooden spoon to create a smooth, loose paste. Cook, stirring constantly, allowing butter and flour to froth together until the mixture turns a light, golden sandy color, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let stand.
Meanwhile, combine milk and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan, scald milk (heating it until just below boiling point). Return saucepan with roux to medium-low heat. Add half of the hot milk to the roux, whisking vigorously to thoroughly blend and prevent lumps, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When a boil is reached and sauce is smooth, add the remaining milk and bay leaf, reduce heat to low, and simmer, whisking occasionally, until the sauce is smooth and thickened, about 10 to 12 minutes. Strain sauce through fine-mesh strainer. Season with salt, white pepper and nutmeg to taste, and set aside until ready to use. (Makes about 2 cups.)
To make Gratin: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bring 3 quarts of water to a rapid boil with 2 tablespoons of salt and vinegar. (The acid in vinegar helps keep cauliflower white.) Cut cauliflower into 1 1/2-inch wide florets. Boil florets until just tender, about 4 to 5 minutes, drain well without rinsing, pat dry, and season with salt to taste.
Arrange the cauliflower, florets-side up, in a buttered, medium (about 8-cup) oval gratin dish or baking dish just large enough to hold cauliflour in a single layer. If the bechamel sauce is cold, bring it to a simmer on the stove while whisking. Gradually stir Gruyere cheese into the hot bechamel and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste. In a small bowl, combine the parmesan, bread crumbs and basil, and mix with olive oil, to coat evenly. Spoon bechamel over the cauliflower and sprinkle everything, evenly, with crumb topping.
Bake in center of oven until gratin is bubbling and lightly browned on top, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve hot, or at room temperature.
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TimKoster 1 month ago
oakandsage 2 months agoTasty and the recipe is easy to follow. I added a bit of spinach, on the theory that nothing with cheese in it will ever be harmed by adding a bit of spinach. I also used whole wheat flour in the bechamel (wasn't sure that would work, but it did) and added wheat germ to the panko topping. In the future I might add a little mustard seed, garlic powder, or paprika for more punch. Nice thing about it as is though is you can actually taste the cauliflower. :) Got some tasty fresh cauliflower from the CSA so I didn't want to totally drown it out with sharp cheeses and spices. Don't fear the bechamel - it seems involved at first but once you get used to it, it's a piece of cake!
ZenaUBugn 4 months agoThis was really good! Hubby asked me to add it to our rotation. Will add a bit more Gruyere next time as per our tastes...
Heatherferg 7 months agoThe Bechamel is the best I've had and the Basil Crumb Topping finished off a delicious side dish. Have made this a few times now and besides adding different veggies would not change a thing.
LChickie 8 months ago
LChickie 8 months agoThis was incredible. It wasn't an easy recipe, as at one point I had 3 pots cooking on the stove just for this side dish. The gruyere cheese is not inexpensive either. I might try to substitute a less expensive domestic cheese next time.
NutriNik 8 months agoRecipe was very helpful but sauce was bland. Making these changes would make this recipe a 5 star. Healthier makeover.....I used better spread and whole wheat flour. First time I used the Gruyere and it was great but the next time I used a lowfat mexican shredded cheese and it was also great so the recipe works with both. I seasoned the sauce with 1Tbsp onion powder and 1 Tbsp of cajun seasoning. I also added corn which was a great combo. Served with BBQ crockpot chicken and a sweet potato DEEELISH!!!
Tracybrandy 10 months agoVery tasty, going to try with broccoli next time as I'm sure that would be yummy too!
couchnaps 11 month ago
Kika57 1 year agoExcellent side dish found this recipe while looking for anew way to cook this veggie it has quickly become one of our favorites
melegan 1 year agoDelicious and easy to make.
Trissa 1 year agoWow, fantastic recipe! The family really liked this dish. I normally just steam cauliflower but decided to splurge and give this recipe a try. I followed the instructions 100% and couldn't have been more pleased!
Lesleyanngregory 1 year agoThis is the perfect veg accompaniment for any meal. Absolutely delicious.
traceyleverty 1 year agoIncredible. I didn't have any panko so I used crushed croutons and they added terrific flavor. Will absolutely make this again and again! Does anyone know if there is a way to use almond milk in bechamel sauce?
MenuMuse 2 years agoIt's a bit of a production and higher in calories than I'd like for a frequent use side dish, but it was very tasty. I was very pleased about how easy it was to make the bechamel sauce (my first attempt). Now, my quest to figure out how to make a low fat version!
TravelJewels 2 years agoGreat recipe. Love the panko crust & am thinking that I can use it on just about anything. My excitement could be my lack of cooking prowess, but I loved the topping. Bechamel sauce also a great recipe to have. All in all a great side dish and some basics for greating cooking going forward! Caulifower isn't a hit overall with my set, so I won't make this again, but will use it over & over with other veggies!
Curlyque 3 years agoSeveral steps required but worth it. It was a hit at my dinner.
Banumpkin 3 years agoDelicious!!!!! It's way better than what i expected :-) absolutely live it!
Kasattack 3 years agoI used pecorino romano instead of gruyere but it came out amazing! It was so delicious, if you havent already you definately must try it!
TinaTSD 3 years agoAbsolutely wonderful! It was my first time making a bechamel, and it was quite easy. Will make again for sure!