Published Apr 2nd
Prep 20m Cook 35m Additional - Ready In 55m
Servings 8 servings Calories 255

Served bubbling hot in a savory garlic and cheesy cream sauce, this side dish can take the center stage if paired with a risotto or semolina gnocchi. In the autumn, this dish makes a regular appearance at our dinner table as we harvest it straight from the garden.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 large head cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 ounces grated fontina cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch ground white pepper

Cooking Directions

  1. 1 Place a steamer insert into a saucepan and fill with water to just below the bottom of the steamer. Bring water to a boil. Add cauliflower, cover, and steam until crisp tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain in a colander and immediately immerse in ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain well.
  2. 2 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  3. 3 Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add garlic; cook and stir until soft and fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in flour until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in milk and cream. Increase heat to medium and simmer, whisking frequently, until sauce starts to thicken, about 5 minutes. Bring to a boil; continue to cook until sauce is thick, about 5 minutes.
  4. 4 Stir Parmesan cheese, fontina cheese, salt, nutmeg, and white pepper into sauce. Cook, whisking vigorously, until cheese is melted into the sauce, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  5. 5 Spread 1 cup of sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Arrange cauliflower on top. Drizzle remaining sauce over the cauliflower, coating each floret.
  6. 6 Bake in the preheated oven until bubbling and lightly browned on top, about 10 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 255
  • Carbohydrate 13 g
  • Cholesterol 67.1 mg
  • Fat 19.2 g
  • Fiber 2.8 g
  • Protein 9.4 g
  • Saturated Fat 11.9 g
  • Sodium 300.6 mg
  • Sugar 6.3 g

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Chef's Notes

Substitute Asiago cheese for the fontina if desired; While this makes 8 normal servings, my family of 5 gobbles this up as a large portion of their meal.


  1. This is good as a starting point, but I didn't love the ratio of veggies to liquid. Use up to 2 lbs of cauliflower or 2 lbs of whatever veggie you use for this amt of cream sauce. But why make fractions for the measurements when not needed? Here's how to simplify it. I found - Read more ...
  2. This turned out delicious and I had no problem with the cheese melting which is always a plus for me!