When you bake cauliflower in cheese, it becomes comfort food. Did you know that? Try this Oven Roasted Cauliflower and Cheddar Gratin; it’s sure to change your mind!
If I were to take a guess – without cheating and looking at my post history – I would guess that the ingredient cauliflower, is used more times on this blog than any other ingredient. Of course, that wouldn’t pertain to ingredients like salt or pepper, but in terms of actual vegetables or meats or whatever.
We love cauliflower in any shape or form. And to be quite honest with you Dear Reader, we are not picky with whatever the texture either. We love raw cauliflower with a dip or a hummus. We love it roasted, like in this particular recipe. We love it fried too, oh, and in soups! It’s such a versatile ingredient and you can do just about anything to it.
Now, I’m sitting here writing this, and my curiosity is getting the best of me. I just have to go look to see how many times I’ve used cauliflower as an ingredient in the history of Lord Byron’s Kitchen. Hold please. (Insert final jeopardy music here. I’m not sure why I always associate that particular bit of music with being placed on hold. It’s never been my experience before, but it’s most certainly always the first music that comes to mind.)
Wait… before I go search the results, I’m going to guess at least ten. Ok, now I’m going to go look.
I was so close! It’s actually eleven – well, it will be twelve including this one. There are so many variations on the ingredient too. I must say, I’m quite impressed with myself!
Many times, I’m asked what my personal favourite recipes are on my blog. And, I always find it’s a really tough question to answer. I would never post a recipe on my blog that I didn’t love to eat myself. And, while that’s the honest truth, I would sound like a complete pompous ass if I responded with, “all of them!”
With that said, I can narrow my favourites down in the following manner… first, if it’s fried or deep fried, I’m probably going to love it. Secondly, is there a sauce? I’m a sucker for anything with a thick, rich sauce. Thirdly, is it easy to make? And, lastly, did my family love it? That last question is really important, because whatever dishes I prepare for this blog, are dishes we will eat for meals or snacks. (Except for anything meat-based. I’m on my own with that one!)
So, in terms of cauliflower then, I would say that my favourite recipes on my blog would be Vegetarian Cashew Cauliflower, most certainly Cauliflower Brown Rice Meatballs, and without a doubt, both Fried Cauliflower in Garlic and Ginger Sauce, and Crispy Fried Honey Lemon Glazed Cauliflower.
Now, I’m going to go right ahead and add Oven Roasted Cauliflower and Cheddar Gratin to that list. No, this recipe is not fried in any way, but it does have a rich, cheesy sauce; it is most certainly easy to make; and all three of us loved it! Three out of four criteria – that’s a win for sure!
Oven Roasted Cauliflower and Cheddar Gratin is the perfect side dish. I would serve it with a roasted chicken and some green veg – maybe Spicy Pan-Seared Brussels Sprouts with Corn and Caramelized Onions, or Sauteed Green Beans with Caramelized Shallots, for a complete meal. If you’re not up to all of that cooking, you could help yourself to a very large serving, and eat it all on it’s own. (Just like John.e did!)
In a hurry? Save this recipe to your Pinterest board for later!
Oven Roasted Cauliflower and Cheddar Gratin
- 1 large cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 cup white cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Add the cauliflower, salt, pepper, and oil to a large bowl. Toss well to coat.
- Transfer cauliflower to a baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes, turning at the halfway point.
- In the meantime, add 3 tablespoons of the butter to a large sauce pan, and over medium heat, bring the butter to a light bubble and whisk in the flour. Cook the flour for 3-4 minutes in the butter.
- Add the milk and continue to whisk until sauce has thickened - about 3-4 minutes.
- Next, add the nutmeg and cheese. Whisk into the sauce until cheese has melted.
- Transfer the roasted cauliflower to the sauce pan and gently stir to incorporate into the sauce mixture.
- Pour the cauliflower and sauce into a baking dish. Top with the panko and dot with the remaining two tablespoons of butter.
- Bake for 20 minutes. If you prefer a crispier top, broil for a minute or two after the gratin has finished baking.
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