It’s a pretty well-known fact that cheese sauce improves any vegetable side dish. Here, I’ve done a quick steamed cauliflower, drizzled over a pungent Gruyere cheese sauce, sprinkled with a breadcrumb, cayenne, Parmesan topping and broiled it for a crispy crust. To boost the cauliflower flavor, roast or broil it in the oven instead of steaming—but here I wanted a quick, weeknight side.
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Time: About 15 minutes active; 25 minutes total
3/4 cup soymilk, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 head cauliflower (about 1 pound), chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 tablespoons flour
1 ounce Gruyere cheese, grated (or a good-quality Swiss)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 ounce Parmesan, grated
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon chives or parsley, chopped
1. Preheat broiler on high heat. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, add 1/4 cup soymilk, cauliflower and salt. Put a plate on as a lid and microwave 2 minutes until crisp-tender (nuke up to 4 minutes for a softer veg).
2. Drain milk from cauliflower into a medium pot. Whisk together remaining 1/2 cup soymilk and flour. Add to pot and cook over medium heat 2–3 minutes until thickened and slightly golden (this is a béchamel sauce). Remove from heat and add Gruyere, garlic, mustard and pepper. Stir until cheese is melted.
3. Spray a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray. Put cauliflower in the dish and cover with cheese sauce. Mix until all the cauliflower is well coated.
4. In a small bowl, mix breadcrumbs, Parmesan and cayenne. Sprinkle evenly over cauliflower. Broil 2–3 minutes until breadcrumbs are nicely browned. Top with chopped chives or parsley and serve hot.
Writer Bio: Adrienne D. Capps loves food AND is a vegetarian! These things are not mutually exclusive in her world. She is passionate about eating, drinking, cooking, teaching, reading about food and growing food. Her goal with her food blog, Vegetarianized.com, is to open up the world of vegetarian cooking and eating to the veg-friendly and the veg-curious in an accessible way. She promises never to try to convert or make you feel guilty—just that eating less meat can be part of a healthy, fun and, above all tasty, lifestyle.