Cauliflower in Béchamel

Posted by Tracy Newel on Jan 30, 2012
Filed: Side Dish
Tagged: bechamel cauliflower seasonal eats

Cauliflower is one of winter's wonders. In her ruffled white coat, she is both delicate and creamy with a gentle bite of her coniferous vegetable heritage (yes, I just wrote that).

This dish is an especially nice way to highlight this gorgeous babe. Unlike a gratin, a simple béchamel brings out the natural sweetness in cauliflower which is delightfully offset by the nutmeg. Together, you're left with pillows of supple cauliflower clouds immersed in dairy heaven.

Trust me...this'll get you to eat your vegetables.


  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into 1" segments
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 4 Tbsp. all purpose white flour
  • 1 pint whole milk
  • 1/8 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Steam cauliflower until just fork tender, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a heavy bottomed 2-quart sauce pan, melt butter and add flour. Stir until it sizzles and is well incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add milk and wisk constantly until the mixture thickens, about 7 minutes. Add nutmeg, cayenne, and salt to taste.

Mix béchamel with cooked cauliflower. Add to baking dish and top with breadcrumbs. Bake 25 min or until top is brown and bubbly.