Keen eyed foodies will notice what I just did there. Yes, mornay sauce is cheese sauce. This Baked Cauliflower with Mornay Sauce is basically Baked Cauliflower “Mac” n Cheese also known as Cauliflower Cheese. I’m not a fan of the name Cauliflower Cheese, though. Does anyone else picture trying to make cheese out of cauliflower? I know cauliflower is being used to replace anything and everything these days, but I’m not sure cheese should be one of them. Plus, doesn’t Cauliflower with Mornay Sauce just sound so much fancier? It does.
Side note: Have you ever looked at the very tips of cauliflower? They’re swirly like romanesco. I don’t know why I never noticed before. So pretty!
Anyway, have you tried cauliflower with mornay sauce? It’s basically macaroni and cheese except you’ve got a healthy serving of melt in your mouth cauliflower in place of the pasta. It’s rich, creamy, cheesy and your serving of vegetables all in one, and believe me, you won’t miss the macaroni. I make mine using tapioca or potato starch instead of flour, so it’s completely grain free, too.
Baked Cauliflower with Mornay Sauce
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yield: serves 4 – 6
- 1 medium head cauliflower (about 6 cups of florets)
- 8 Tbs butter, unsalted
- 3 Tbs potato starch (tapioca or sweet potato starch may also work)
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups cheese (I recommend a good, strong cheddar)
- 1 tsp mustard
- nutmeg, to taste (about 1/8 – 1/4 tsp)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Core and cut up the cauliflower into 1 inch florets.
- Place the cauliflower into a baking dish/pan, season with salt and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until cooked.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat.
- Once the butter has fully melted, add the starch one tablespoon at a time, whisking after each addition.
- Once the starch is fully incorporated, slowly drizzle in the milk, whisking constantly. The sauce will thicken quickly.
- Season to taste with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Remember to season well since the flavor will be diluted a bit by the cauliflower.
- Once the sauce is warm (do not boil if using potato starch), add the cheese and mix until melted.
- Add the mustard, and season with salt and pepper if needed.
- Transfer the cauliflower to a 1.5 qt baking dish.
- Pour the sauce all over the cauliflower, shaking the dish a bit to get the sauce to distribute.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly and browned on top.
Let’s start a movement. Out with Cauliflower Cheese and in with Cauliflower with Mornay Sauce!