|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 4 to 6|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 5g||6%|
|Saturated Fat 2g||12%|
|Total Carbohydrate 9g||3%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||12%|
|Total Sugars 5g|
|Vitamin C 63mg||314%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
A rich and creamy cheddar cheese sauce transforms plain steamed cauliflower into an irresistible side dish. This is really a very quick recipe to prepare, and will become a family favorite—it may even convert cauliflower-haters. If you have all of the ingredients measured and ready, the dish should come together in less than 10 minutes.
The cheese sauce is similar to the ingredients and method when making macaroni and cheese. Feel free to double the sauce ingredients and use it on other vegetables such as broccoli or as a dipping sauce for chicken nuggets.
1 large head cauliflower
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 level tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
Pinch of nutmeg
3/4 to 1 cup milk, or half-and-half
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, or a cheddar Jack blend
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Paprika, for garnish
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Separate the cauliflower into small florets.
Put the florets in a steaming basket over about 1/2 inch of simmering water.
Cover and let the cauliflower steam for about 5 to 8 minutes, until crisp-tender or tender, depending on how you like it.
Meanwhile, prepare the cheese sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
Add the flour, ground mustard, and nutmeg and cook, whisking or stirring constantly, for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
Gradually whisk in 3/4 cup of the milk or half-and-half and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until thickened.
Stir in the shredded cheese and continue cooking, stirring, until the cheese has melted.
Thin the sauce with a tablespoon or two of milk, if desired, and add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Transfer the cauliflower to a serving dish and spoon the sauce over, or serve the cauliflower and pass the sauce separately.
Garnish with a sprinkling of paprika and chopped parsley, if desired. Serve and enjoy.
- Be careful when melting the butter and cooking the flour (making a roux) to make sure neither overcooks. The sauce will take on a bitter taste if either burns.
- If it seems the cheese is separating from the rest of the ingredients while mixing, remove the pan from the heat and whisk vigorously to blend.
- Make sure not to overcook the cauliflower as it can release water and make the dish liquidy.
- Add some spinach to the dish for additional color and nutrition. You can wilt the greens slightly or let the warm cauliflower and cheese sauce naturally cook them a bit.
- Use a combination of cauliflower and broccoli.
- Instead of steaming the cauliflower, roast it in a hot oven until caramelized. Drizzle the florets with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and cook on a baking sheet, well-spaced out, until tender and starting to brown. Drizzle with the cheese sauce.