Steamed Caulifower with Mornay Sauce
Cauliflower seems to be latest vegetable in the spotlight, at least from many of the blogs I have been receiving. It is not one of those vegetables I use very often unless I have a specific recipe. It is a versatile vegetable to be used in salads, casseroles, soups or vegetable side dish and on a pizza or stir-fried frozen cauliflower.
Cooking Fresh CauliflowerThere are several ways to cooking cauliflower and other fresh vegetables. To have them keep their food value and looking fresh and delicious it is best to “undercook”, that is, to cook the vegetables as short as time as possible and still be tender not over cooked. The cooking time will vary the cooking method. Here is a list of methods to cook fresh vegetables: steaming, boiling, pressure cooking, braising, baking, frying and roasting.
Benefits of CauliflowerCauliflower can provide the healing powers to boost the immune system and inhibit tumor growth. Vitamin C and vitamin B folate support the immune system. To keep the nutrients at the peak, choose solid white heads without brown spots. Eating raw or steamed cauliflower provides the most nutrients. Store with the steam down to prevent excess moisture in the florets.
Mornay Sauce, a French Cheese SauceLooking through an older cookbook, I found this recipe for Cauliflower with Mornay Sauce a French cheese sauce. It is cauliflower florets steamed then covered with bread crumbs and melted butter as an au gratin. The Mornay Sauce base is Béchamel Sauce, a basic medium thick white sauce, with the added butter and cheese. This is poured in the center of the cauliflower and browned under the broiler.
The Cauliflower with Mornay Sauce was very good even though the finished dish did not look like the picture. I also used all the cauliflower in the casserole. I should have cooked the white sauce longer before adding the cheese. The original recipe called for Parmesan cheese, I used Pecorino-Romano and too few bread crumbs. The end recipe turned out to be closer to cauliflower soup and delicious anyway.
Cauliflower with Mornay Sauce
- 1 large head of cauliflower
- 1 cup freshly ground bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- 1 recipe of MORNAY SAUCE
- Basic White Sauce or Bechamel Sauce as follows.
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups milk
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- To complete Mornay Sauce add
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup grated Pecorino-Romano cheese
- Wash and trim cauliflower into florets.
- Steam the cauliflower until tender, 5-7 minutes over 2 inches boiling water.
- Arrange cauliflower around the edge of casserole.
- Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan.
- Whisk in the flour until smooth.
- Gradually stir the milk, constantly stirring or use whisk to blend.
- Cook until sauce is thick.
- Stir in the salt and pepper.
- Prepare the Mornay Sauce
- Add the butter in small pieces.
- Stir in the Parmesan cheese, beating until the butter is melted.
- Generously sprinkle bread crumbs over the cauliflower.
- Drizzle 1/3 cup melted butter over the bread crumbs
- Spoon Mornay Sauce into the middle of baking dish.
- Broil until the crumbs are lightly browned.
Here are more cauliflower recipes. Check out these links.
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