Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin

As you may have guessed, I love cauliflower. I think I have posted about 14 other cauliflower recipes. This one is wonderfully creamy and cheesy. You can also top this with 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan mixed with 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs instead of Saltines.
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Cheesy Cauliflower  Gratin

Serves 8

3 lb cauliflower (1 large head), cut into 1 1/2- to 2-inch florets
4 Tbs butter
2 Tbs flour
1 1/2 cups milk
8 oz sharp Cheddar, grated (2 cups)
1/2 cup scallion greens, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
20 (2-inch square) saltine crackers

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Cook cauliflower in a 5- to 6-quart pot of boiling salted water until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain cauliflower well in a colander and transfer to a buttered 2-quart baking dish.

While cauliflower is cooking, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat and whisk in flour. Cook roux over low heat, whisking, 3 minutes. Add milk in a slow stream, whisking, and bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Reduce heat and simmer sauce, whisking occasionally, 8 minutes. Remove from heat and add cheese, scallion greens, salt, and pepper, whisking until cheese is melted. Pour cheese sauce over cauliflower and stir gently to combine.

Coarsely crumble crackers into a bowl. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan, pour over crumbs and toss to coat.

Sprinkle crumb topping evenly over cauliflower.

Bake gratin in middle of oven until topping is golden brown, about 10 minutes.

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