The first time I made this rich side dish for a big family meal, it was an instant hit. When everyone had eaten their fill, there was a lively discussion on who would be the lucky one to take home the leftovers.
- 1 medium head cauliflower (about 1-1/2 pounds), broken into florets
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 tablespoons butter, cubed
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 cups 2% milk
- 4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- Dash cayenne pepper
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
- In a large saucepan, bring cauliflower and 1 in. of water to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 6-7 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain well; set aside.
- In another saucepan, saute garlic in butter for 1 minute. Stir in flour until blended; gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
- Remove from the heat; stir in the cauliflower, bacon, salt, pepper and cayenne. Pour into a greased 1-1/2-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese.
- Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted. Yield: 5-7 servings.
Originally published as Cauliflower Au Gratin in Country Woman Christmas Annual 2001, p28
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