- 3 cups milk, whole or skim
- 1/2 yellow onion, peeled
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 whole cloves
- Pinch freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 large head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into 1'' florets
- 5 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground white pepper
- 2 Tbsp shallots, minced
- 2 tsp garlic, minced
- 3 Tbsp flour
- 1/2 cup coarse breadcrumbs
- 2 tsp parsley, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup Gruyère cheese, grated
- Lay the bay leaf over the cut side of the onion and poke the cloves through the bay leaf and into the onion to secure the leaf in place. Place the onion into a 2-quart saucepan and add the milk. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook without boiling for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve. Set aside until ready to use.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Steam the cauliflower in a steam basket inserted into a medium saucepan until just tender, about 10 minutes. Arrange the cauliflower in a shallow 2-quart saucepan approximately 7-1/2'' x 11'' and set aside as you prepare the sauce.
- In a 2-quart saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter. Add the shallots and minced garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the flour to the pan and stir, using a wooden spoon, to form a blond roux. (Do not allow the mixture to brown.)
- Add the milk to the pan and whisk until smooth. Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, or until thickened, smooth, and creamy. Remove the pan from the heat and add the grated cheese, stirring until melted. Pour the sauce evenly over the cauliflower.
- Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in an 8'' sauté pan and add the breadcrumbs to the pan and toss well to coat. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper and the chopped parsley. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly over the top of the cauliflower and bake until the top is golden-brown and the sauce is bubbly, about 25 minutes. Makes 6 servings.
Recipe provided by Emeril Lagasse. Copyright Martha Stewart Omnimedia, Inc.