For whatever reason, this weekend I decided to buy a head of cauliflower. What was I going to do with it? I don’t know…it just somehow ended up in my little basket.
Today I was out of leftovers to microwave for dinner, so that meant I had to do something with the cauliflower. I was thinking about just roasting it since it was easy, and tastes good. But I can’t just eat a whole head of roasted cauliflower (and maybe a sweet potato) for dinner. Then it dawned on me. What about this cauliflower mac & cheese I’ve heard about?
A little internet searching and a couple of recipes later, I came across one on Serious Eats (great site….I could spend hours there, but I can never remember to check it out just cause).
The recipe is simple and requires a food processor. I scanned the ingredient list and oddly enough, I had everything on hand. Well, not everything. I didn’t have any macaroni, but I did have a box of whole wheat penne. Close enough!
So, here is the recipe for Cauliflower Mac & Cheese
And here are my notes:
I used Gruyere as my hard cheese of choice. I also didn’t have Parmesan, but did have grated Pecorino Romano. It worked out.
I used Panko Bread crumbs. I found it added a nice light crunch without being too heavy like regular bread crumbs.
I cut my cauliflower into chunks, so it didn’t require 15 minutes to soften. Keep an eye on it after 5 minutes.
I didn’t need 2 cups of broth (I used unsalted chicken broth) at all. I think I may have used maybe a cup…or a little less.
I pureed the cauliflower mix until it was like a thick sauce. It would mound well on a spoon, but can easily slide off when tilted. Kind of like thinned mashed potatoes.
I cooked the pasta till al dente.
Once I poured the sauce over the pasta, I carefully mixed the pasta and sauce together a bit. The recipe makes it sound like you just layer, but give it a good mix so the cheese and pasta can get to know each other a bit.
I did not have a 9″ baking dish, so I used my 9″ pie plate. It works!
Overall, I thought the sauce by itself was delicious. There are many possibilities with it that may not involve pasta. But the dish all together was actually really good. I paired it with a side that consisted of some frozen broccoli I defrosted by putting it in some water and bringing to a boil, drained, then tossed with the Pecorino Romano cheese and some sunflower seeds.
While the cauliflower version of this mac & cheese is not as warm and cheesey as real mac & cheese, it’s still a pretty decent weekday meal that won’t necessarily break the weekday diet (because we all know weekends are free for all’s….right?).