Cauliflower Cheese Casserole


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Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons, plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter

  • 1 clove garlic, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 4 cups cauliflower florets

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 3 cups whole milk

  • ½ onion, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons mint, chopped

  • 1/3 cup parsley, chopped

  • zest of one lemon

  • 7 ounces (1 ¾ cups) Gouda cheese, shredded

  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 6 ounces dry penne pasta, cooked according to package directions

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Melt 1 teaspoon butter. Add garlic, lemon juice, ½ teaspoon of salt and stir to combine. Place cauliflower florets on a sheet pan and top with butter mixture. Gently mix to evenly coat cauliflower. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  3. While cauliflower is roasting, heat a large, heavy bottomed sauce pan over low heat. Add remaining 3 tablespoons butter and flour. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring the whole time, and being careful to get around the edges of the pan. Add ¼ cup milk and whisk thoroughly so there are no lumps. Repeat with remaining milk, adding ¼ cup at a time. Whisking constantly, increase heat to medium, and bring to a low boil. Add onion, then lower heat to simmer. Add 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next, add the mint, parsley, lemon zest and 5 ounces (1 ¼ cup) shredded Gouda and mix until the cheese is melted. Add the pepper flakes and the pasta and stir.
  4. Remove cauliflower from oven and place in prepared casserole dish in even layer. Pour pasta mixture over cauliflower and mix gently. Top with remaining cheese.
  5. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the sauce starts to firm and the top is golden brown and crusty. Remove from oven and wait to let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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