Cauliflower with Broccoli Cheese Sauce

Growing-up, one of my favourite ways to eat vegetables was with my mom’s homemade cheese sauce. She would simply melt some butter (1 to 2 Tablespoons), add flour to soak up the butter (paste like) and then whisk in milk (1 to 2 cups) until the flour was mixed in. She would then put it on medium heat (stirring constantly to avoid scorching) until the mixture thickened. She would then add grated cheddar until desired cheesiness was achieved.  She often add dill as well as salt and pepper.  My mom would serve the cheese sauce over cabbage, cauliflower or steamed broccoli. Knowing how much I loved this growing-up, I was intrigued when I found Jamie Oliver’s recipe for the Best Cauliflower and Broccoli Cheese ever.

Jamie Oliver’s Cauliflower and Broccoli Cheese:

broccoli cheese casseroleThis recipe is like our long time family favourite kicked-up a notch. You’ll have to follow the link to get the complete recipe, but basically it is much the same as my mom’s with a white sauce as the base. Here is what sets his recipe apart:

  • Sauté fresh garlic in the butter prior to adding the flour
  • Simmer broccoli florets in the milk mixture for about 20 minutes
  • Blend the above, so that the broccoli is puréed
  • Place small cauliflower florets in a baking dish
  • Pour broccoli mixture over top
  • Add additional grated cheese, bread crumbs, slivered almonds, salt and pepper and fresh thyme to the top
  • Bake at 350 for one hour

I really enjoyed this recipe and will definitely make it again. However, I happened to have frozen veggies on hand and he suggested it was a great option. I think the moisture in the cauliflower may have “watered it down” a bit. Next time I will use fresh and I think it will be superb. It makes a nice potluck dish or side dish to serve for company.