This is a great make ahead side dish and especially delicious with ham or roast beef and hearty enough to serve as a main dish for the vegetarians at your table. The horseradish added to the crumbs gives it just enough kick to make it interesting.
1 head of cauliflower, cut into small flowerets
5 tablespoons flour
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons dry mustard
5 cups whole milk, warmed
2 10 ounce blocks of sharp white or Irish cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
1 ½ cups panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish, drained
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Bring a large stock pot of water to a boil and add the cauliflower, cook until just tender about 7-8 minutes. Drain and then put on a towel to absorb and extra moisture.
- In a large sauce pan over medium heat combine the butter, flour, salt and dry mustard and whisk constantly until the mixture is pale and bubbly.
- Slowly add the warmed milk, continue to whisk and bring to just a boil. Continue whisking until the mixture thickens slightly – about a minute or two then take it off the heat
- Add the grated cheese and stir until it is melted
- Place the cauliflower in a large gratin or 9X13 Pyrex dish and pour the cheese sauce over the top.
- Combine butter and paprika in a microwave safe dish and melt the mixture about 30 seconds
- Stir in the horseradish and toss this mixture with the panko crumbs until the crumbs are well coated and sprinkle it on top of the cauliflower.
- Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until the top is golden and the sides are bubbly.