Cauliflower Mornay is basically a cheesy béchamel sauce covering cooked cauliflower with some aromatics to give it un ‘Je ne sais quoi‘. So simple and impossible to miss, a great way to make the kids eat their veggies.
What is Mornay?
First of all, a Mornay sauce is basically the same as a béchamel sauce but with cheese to it, making this lovely golden gratin finish on top! A perfect sauce to make your kids fall in love with any type of veggies. Cauliflower Mornay comes without using a crazy amount of cheese or butter. Yes, you’ve heard me, it’s mostly milk in there! There is a spoon or two of butter, some flour and cheese amount is up to you again, if you prefer a lighter meal go lower… but in the end, compared to the famous Hollandaise this Mornay sauce is a tad healthier.
A great sidekick to Salmon dishes, Chicken, and any meat really. This side dish could turn into a whole main dish too! Add a few crispy bits of bacon in there and you’ve got yourself a main dish!
Type of Cheese?
Mornay sauce is what is used in the Mac N Cheese, a kid’s big fav! The cheese used in the end is up to you, usually a Gruyere, Emmental, Cheddar or even parmesan. So go ahead with your favourite! In this version, I’ve used aged cheddar because it’s simply cheaper and tasty!
Thyme to the Rescue
With this recipe, you’ll get the full flavour of that white veggie, because the sauce is so delicate. I didn’t add much cheese, only a little bit of old cheddar to salt things up. What brings a fun Mediterranean touch is the thyme! A fresh batch if possible, I couldn’t get enough of this aromatic herb! Just a bit goes a long way. Again, this is entirely up to you on the choice of aromatic herbs if any.
We already know the cheese type could be adapted to your preference and the veggies too. This recipe could easily be made with broccoli, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, Romanesco broccoli, etc. Why not throw some leftover chicken or salmon in there? This Mornay sauce goes everywhere and smooths everything up!
To Pair with
- 1 cauliflower
- 750 ml milk (min. 3% fat)
- 30 g butter
- 30 g flour
- 100 g aged cheddar cheese (grated) (or gruyere, emmental, parmesan, etc.)
- 1/3 tsp nutmeg (*optional)
- 2 tsp fresh thyme (*optional)
- salt and pepper
- Start by cooking the cauliflower florets in salty water for 4-5 minutes until al dente.
- Make a béchamel by melting the butter in a medium size saucepan.
- Add the flour, medium-high heat, mix for a minute or two until it smells nutty.
- Add the cold milk and whisk gently.
- While it cooks, add the nutmeg.
- Once done, add the cheese to the sauce and let it melt, and add pepper and salt if necessary, and reserve.
- Add the cauliflower in a casserole, add the thyme, pour the Mornay sauce over it.
- Broil in the oven until light brown, about 5-10 minutes or until golden.