Easy Peasy Cheesy Cauliflower in White Sauce …

Easy Peasy Cheesy Cauliflower in White Sauce

For me, winter is a time for comfort food … warm, hearty homemade dishes that make me feel good and often remind me of Mum’s cooking. And this Easy Cheesy Cauliflower in White Sauce is one such recipe. It’s the perfect side dish, especially if you’re cooking a roast and it’s also really easy to make. I cook this dish often but that wasn’t always the case. I used to avoid cooking anything with a white sauce because I could never get it quite right. It used to end up all lumpy and I would get so frustrated that I couldn’t create a beautiful smooth sauce like I’d see in cookbooks. I was determined not to give up though and I persevered until I got it right. So what’s my secret, I use a whisk instead of a spoon. I also use a little more butter than some recipes to prevent lumps when the flour is added. Not revolutionary I know, but those two simple tricks guarantee a perfect, smooth sauce every time.

I also like to add a sprinkle of panko crumbs or breadcrumbs to any dish that I top with cheese. I do this for two reasons. Firstly, it adds a nice crispy texture to the cheesy topping but the main reason is that the breadcrumbs help to soak up any oil that you often see with melted cheese. Enjoy!

Easy Peasy Cheesy Cauliflower in White Sauce …
Ingredients …
  • 1 small cauliflower
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup plain flour
  • 1⅔ cups milk
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • ¼ cup grated cheese
  • 1 cup grated cheese, extra for topping
  • ¼ cup parmesan, for topping
  • 2 tablespoons panko crumbs (or breadcrumbs)
Method …
  1. Preheat oven to 180C (fan-forced).
  2. Cut cauliflower into small flowerettes and discard the stem.
  3. Steam the cauliflower in the microwave or cook gently in a saucepan of boiling water until almost cooked. Don’t cook all the way through because the cauliflower will continue to cook once placed in the oven.
  4. Remove from the microwave or saucepan, drain and arrange the steamed cauliflower in a serving dish.
  5. To make the white sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat. Add the flour and whisk the mixture for approximately 2 minutes.
  6. Remove the saucepan from the heat, add a pinch of nutmeg and gradually add the milk, whisking constantly until smooth. Return the saucepan to the stovetop over a medium to high heat and continue to whisk until the sauce heats up and thickens. Once it has thickened, remove from heat.
  7. Add ¼ cup of grated cheese and continue to whisk until the cheese melts.
  8. Pour the white sauce evenly over the cauliflower. Sprinkle the top with the extra grated cheese. Sprinkle again with the parmesan cheese. Sprinkle finally with the panko crumbs (or breadcrumbs).
  9. Place dish in the oven and bake for approximately 25 minutes until golden on the top. Remove from oven and serve.