This painfully simple cauliflower preparation is smothered in Mornay sauce, which itself is an adaptation of the classic French béchamel sauce. Mornay may sound intimidating to make, but I promise that it’s a nice way to ease yourself into the world of sauces. First you make béchamel, which involves whisking together butter, flour, and half-and-half until it’s just barely boiling. To turn this into Mornay, simply add in a touch of cream, an egg yolk, and some mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. —Vicky | Things I Made Today
Test Kitchen Notes
WHO: Vicky is the author of the blog Things I Made Today and lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband and son.
WHAT: A grown-up macaroni and cheese that trades in macaroni for cauliflower.
HOW: Take béchamel one step further by adding Parmesan and turning it into Mornay. Spread the sauce along the bottom of a small baking dish, then layer with cauliflower, chopped hazelnuts, and Parmesan. Bake until golden brown, and the smell emanating from your oven becomes too good to resist.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Did we already mention that it's grown-up mac n' cheese? This dish makes us feel like kids again, scraping the sides for crispy edges and sneaking forkfuls straight from the gooey, cheesy middle. The cauliflower soaks in the mozzarella- and Parmesan-based sauce, made even more flavorful by a pinch of nutmeg. —The Editors
For the Mornay sauce:
1 1/2 cups
fresh mozzarella, cut into small pieces
freshly ground black pepper
For the cauliflower gratin:
2 1/2 pounds
cauliflower, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces