Served bubbling hot in a savory garlic and cheesy cream sauce, this side dish can take the center stage if paired with a risotto or semolina gnocchi. In the autumn, this dish makes a regular appearance at our dinner table as we harvest it straight from the garden.

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Recipe Summary

prep:
20 mins
cook:
35 mins
total:
55 mins
Servings:
8
Yield:
8 servings
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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Place a steamer insert into a saucepan and fill with water to just below the bottom of the steamer. Bring water to a boil. Add cauliflower, cover, and steam until crisp tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain in a colander and immediately immerse in ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain well.

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  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  • Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add garlic; cook and stir until soft and fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in flour until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in milk and cream. Increase heat to medium and simmer, whisking frequently, until sauce starts to thicken, about 5 minutes. Bring to a boil; continue to cook until sauce is thick, about 5 minutes.

  • Stir Parmesan cheese, fontina cheese, salt, nutmeg, and white pepper into sauce. Cook, whisking vigorously, until cheese is melted into the sauce, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

  • Spread 1 cup of sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Arrange cauliflower on top. Drizzle remaining sauce over the cauliflower, coating each floret.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until bubbling and lightly browned on top, about 10 minutes.

Cook's Notes:

Substitute Asiago cheese for the fontina if desired.

While this makes 8 normal servings, my family of 5 gobbles this up as a large portion of their meal.

Nutrition Facts

255 calories; protein 9.4g; carbohydrates 13g; fat 19.2g; cholesterol 67.1mg; sodium 300.6mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (2)

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Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
12/02/2018
This is good as a starting point, but I didn't love the ratio of veggies to liquid. Use up to 2 lbs of cauliflower or 2 lbs of whatever veggie you use for this amt of cream sauce. But why make fractions for the measurements when not needed? Here's how to simplify it. I found that the sauce didn't thicken enough in pot with the amt of butter/flour shown. I suggest using the "even steven" method...this one is the 3-3-3 method. Use 3 Tbs of butter, 3 Tbs of flour, and 3 Cups of liquid (all milk, half n half, milk w/cream, whatever). It is easy to keep in your head that way. If you need a larger casserole for a crowd, increase to 4-4-4, or 5-5-5, it works. Also, parm isn't strong enough to lend a salty bite, use Romano cheese or some of each. Make sure you taste the sauce before pouring it over the veggies, if it is bland in the pot, it will be bland when you bake it. Add enough SALT, important to bring out flavors! You can make this "French" by using gruyere cheese, or use cheddar--change up the cheese, and add some light bread crumbs with extra cheese sprinkled on top of casserole too. Read More
(4)
3 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
12/01/2018
This is good as a starting point, but I didn't love the ratio of veggies to liquid. Use up to 2 lbs of cauliflower or 2 lbs of whatever veggie you use for this amt of cream sauce. But why make fractions for the measurements when not needed? Here's how to simplify it. I found that the sauce didn't thicken enough in pot with the amt of butter/flour shown. I suggest using the "even steven" method...this one is the 3-3-3 method. Use 3 Tbs of butter, 3 Tbs of flour, and 3 Cups of liquid (all milk, half n half, milk w/cream, whatever). It is easy to keep in your head that way. If you need a larger casserole for a crowd, increase to 4-4-4, or 5-5-5, it works. Also, parm isn't strong enough to lend a salty bite, use Romano cheese or some of each. Make sure you taste the sauce before pouring it over the veggies, if it is bland in the pot, it will be bland when you bake it. Add enough SALT, important to bring out flavors! You can make this "French" by using gruyere cheese, or use cheddar--change up the cheese, and add some light bread crumbs with extra cheese sprinkled on top of casserole too. Read More
(4)
Rating: 4 stars
05/05/2016
This turned out delicious and I had no problem with the cheese melting which is always a plus for me! Read More
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