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Cauliflower with New Mornay Sauce
EatingWell Test Kitchen
“A topping of Mornay sauce is a delicious treatment for numerous vegetables: broccoli, asparagus, fennel, Belgian endive, to name a few. In our revised version, we have replaced some of the high-fat cheeses and cream with low-fat cottage cheese, which contributes a rich dairy flavor without the fat. Even children will eat cauliflower prepared this way.”
1 head cauliflower, (about 1¾ pounds), cut into large florets
1¼ cups nonfat milk, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ cup low-fat cottage cheese
½ cup shredded Swiss cheese, preferably Gruyère
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black or white pepper
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1½ tablespoons unseasoned fine dry breadcrumbs
1Set rack in upper portion of oven; preheat to 375°F. Coat a shallow 2-quart baking or gratin dish with cooking spray.
2Place cauliflower florets in a steamer basket over boiling water, cover and steam until tender but not soft, 5 to 7 minutes. (Alternatively, place florets in a microwave-safe bowl with ¼ cup water, cover and microwave on High for 1 to 3 minutes.)
3Refresh under cool water and set aside.
4Scald 1 cup milk in a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir together flour and the remaining ¼ cup cold milk in a small bowl to make a smooth paste. Stir into the hot milk mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in cottage cheese, Swiss cheese, salt and pepper. Transfer sauce to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.
5Spread one-third of the sauce in prepared baking dish. Arrange the steamed cauliflower over it and top with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan and breadcrumbs. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes.
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 3; cover and refrigerate the sauce and steamed cauliflower separately for up to 1 day.