If I were a New-Year’s-Resolutions-making kind of girl, then one of mine for 2016 would be: learn to like cauliflower. Even as my palate has matured over the years, cauliflower and I could never quite be friends. I’ve always found this particular vegetable somewhat off-putting, with both a perceived bland flavor and a weird texture.
So. What do you do to a food you don’t love? Smother it in cheese. Oh yeah. Then bake it in the oven until that cheese is browned and bubbling, and the cauliflower has turned incredibly soft but not mushy.
I’m happy to say there’s at least one variation of cauliflower that I very much enjoy now! Actually, spoiler alert – I’ve found two ways in which I love it, but that post will come later. For now, we stick to drenching cauliflower in a three-cheese sauce and topping it with more cheese, and while I wouldn’t necessarily describe this as low-carb mac and cheese, it might be the closest thing. I highly recommend! Enjoy!
Source: slightly adapted from The Bar Americain Cookbook by Bobby Flay
2 tbs unsalted butter
2 tbs all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
6 oz. Monterey jack cheese, grated
8 oz. goat cheese, crumbled, divided
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided, plus extra for garnish
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into florets, each floret cut into 2 or 3 pieces
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Grease a 10-inch baking dish or cast-iron skillet.
Melt the butter over medium heat in a medium heavy saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Don’t let the mixture brown. Slowly whisk in the milk. Raise the heat to high and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens, 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the Monterey jack cheese, half of the goat cheese, and half of the Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Add the cauliflower to a large mixing bowl, then pour over the cheese sauce. Stir well to combine. Scrape the mixture into the prepared baking pan or skillet, then sprinkle the remaining goat cheese and Parmesan evenly over the top. You can also top the casserole with a few more grinds of black pepper if you desire.
Place the skillet or baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet, then bake until the cauliflower is tender and the top is bubbly and browned, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with parsley and extra Parmesan, if desired.