Creamy Cauliflower Gratin
- 1 large head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
- 1 Tbs. salt, plus more, to taste
- 2 cups milk
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. dry mustard
- 1/2 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded Gouda cheese
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 3 Tbs. dried bread crumbs
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the cauliflower and 1 Tbs. salt. Cook until the florets are tender, about 7 minutes. Drain well.
Make the sauce
In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk until small bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan. Remove from the heat.
In a large saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and mustard a little at a time, whisking to incorporate. Increase the heat to medium-low and gradually whisk in the hot milk. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add the cheddar and Gouda cheeses, and season with salt, black pepper and cayenne. Cook, stirring frequently, until the cheeses are melted, about 2 minutes.
Finish the gratin
Preheat a broiler. Butter a shallow 2-quart gratin or baking dish. Arrange the cauliflower in the dish, pour the sauce over it and sprinkle with the bread crumbs. Broil until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Vegetarian, by Dana Jacobi (Oxmoor House, 2007).