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Roasted Cauliflower With Cheese

Freshly-baked cauliflower cheese in casserole dish

Getting a few more vegetables into our meals is a great way to maintain a balanced diet. Sometimes we have to get a little bit sneaky when it comes to feeding veggies to our family. We’re always on the hunt for clever ways to jazz up a healthy vegetable into something everyone will enjoy, and we’ve definitely hit the jackpot on this one. But how can one go wrong when the vegetable in question is topped with cheese?

From time-to-time, we like to use cauliflower as a substitute for mashed potatoes, and roasted cauliflower is an easy side dish that gets a little fancier with a really delicious cheese sauce. The sauce itself is super simple and versatile – sometimes we like to add mustard powder instead of garlic powder, or if we want a little kick, chili flakes are a great way to add a some heat. But with this dish, it’s the cheese that is the star of the show, and who can resist a little toasted cheese on pretty much anything?! That’s how this comes out of the oven – with a slightly browned cheesy top on perfectly cooked cauliflower…we’re already drooling!

Cheesy Roasted Cauliflower

1 hour to prepare serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 cups 2% milk (or whole)
  • 2 cups white cheddar cheese, grated, divided (½ cup reserved)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped, garnish
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
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Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 9 x 11-inch baking dish (or 2 quart baking dish), set aside.
  2. Trim off any excess leaves from the cauliflower and core by removing the large center stem. Cut cauliflower into florets, then steam or partially cook in boiling water until just softened, about 5 minutes. Place cauliflower on a towel to drain any excess water.
  3. While cauliflower drains, add butter to a medium saucepan over medium heat until melted, then stir in flour. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until flour has cooked out and mixture is golden and smooth. Slowly pour milk into roux while whisking to avoid any lumps. Bring to a simmer, allowing sauce to thicken. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, then whisk in cheese in small increments, reserving ½ cup for topping just before baking.
  4. Place cauliflower into a 9x11-inch glass or 2 quart ceramic baking dish that’s been coated with cooking spray.
  5. Pour cheese mixture over cauliflower and top with reserved grated cheese.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Top with chopped parsley and serve warm.

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

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