This is a great dish to make for a crowd– I originally developed it as a portable dish for Thanksgiving. But I like it so much, I make it for family dinner in an 8-inch square baking dish and just cut the recipe in half.
2 heads cauliflower (3 1/2- 4 pounds total), cut in bite-size florets
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 finely minced garlic cloves
1/4 cup flour
1 3/4 cup nonfat milk, divided
3/4 cup finely grated good quality cheddar cheese (about 3 ounces), divided
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- Preheat the oven to 450 and coat a baking sheet pan with cooking spray.
- Toss the florets with the oil and spread on the prepared pan. Roast in the oven until lightly browned and fork tender, 20 minutes.
- Combine the flour and 1/4 cup of the milk, stirring until smooth. Whisk in the remaining 1 1/2 cups of milk and set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, about 6 minutes. Add the milk-flour mixture, whisking frequently, and cook until the sauce is thicker than heavy cream, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese. Toss with the cauliflower and transfer to a 2-inch deep baking dish.
- Make the topping: melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Combine in a bowl with the panko, remaining 1/4 cup of cheese, and thyme. Sprinkle over the cauliflower. Let the mixture cool, then cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for one day. To serve, Place uncovered in a 350 F oven until the topping is golden and the gratin warmed through, about 15 minutes.
Makes 8 servings
Nutritional analysis per serving: 241 calories, 11 g protein, 23 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 13 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 193 mg sodium