Growing up, cauliflower wasn’t one of my favorite vegetables. I would eat it if I came across it on a veggie tray but that was with the help of some serious ranch dressing. Otherwise I didn’t touch the stuff.
Developing into an adult and with my ever expanding list of “Foods I Didn’t Eat But Do Now”, I decided to give cauliflower another try. I liked it well enough but then I discovered roasted cauliflower and fell immediately in love. We’ve been having roasted cauliflower at the HQ a lot this year!
Recently Scott and I were discussing Thanksgiving plans and possible side-dishes to make. The topic revolved around either sticking with the same old stuff or branching out and trying something new. One of the things he suggested was a creamy cauliflower type dish.
That got my wheels spinning and I decided to do a test run that very night! I came up with this creamy cauliflower casserole that both of us adored. It’s got a cheese sauce and prosciutto, so how can you go wrong?
Andrea’s Creamy Cauliflower
- 1 Small Onion, thinly sliced
- 1 Medium Head of Cauliflower, core removed and chunked
- 1/2C Unsweetened Coconut Milk (not from a can)
- 1C Chicken Stock
- 4 TBSP All-Purpose Flour
- 1/2C Shredded Sharp Cheddar
- Sprinkled of grated Parmesan cheese
- 4-5 Prosciutto slices, chopped
- 1/2 TBSP Butter
- Pinch Red Pepper Flake
- Salt and Pepper to taste (I like a lot of pepper)
- 1tsp Garlic Powder
Preheat oven to 375 and grease a large casserole dish. Heat a medium sized skillet over medium heat, add in just a touch of olive oil, about 1 TBSP. Sprinkle in the chopped prosciutto and allow to crisp up. Keep an eye on the prosciutto because it crisps fast and can burn. Once crisp, remove from pan and place on a paper towel. Check to see if you need to add more oil and if so, about another TBSP or so. Add in the butter at this point and the sliced onions. Let the onions sauttee for about 3 minutes just until the start to get soft. Add in your seasonings and stir. Add in the cauliflower and sautee for about 3-4 minutes. Add in the flour and stir, making sure to coat the cauliflower and the onions. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add in the chicken stock and stir. Let it thicken up a bit and then add in the coconut milk. This should result in a creamy sauce. Now add in the cheddar and stir.
Remove pan from heat and dump contents into the greased casserole dish. Sprinkle some parm on top (however much you want), and the crispy prosciutto. Bake in oven for about 10 minutes, just till the cauliflower is completely cooked through. Serve up immediately and enjoy!
I added some chopped chives on top just for a punch of color but you can leave them out or add in some fresh herbs. Some parsley and sage would work well with this. Both of us adored this dish! It was creamy and full of flavor but not so heavy as to cause your stomach to feel weighed-down. Sometimes that can happen with cream based dishes but using a mix of stock and coconut milk kept this dish a tad lighter.
Of course you can use any unsweetened nondairy liquid of your choice or you can use milk. Totally up to you and your preference.
The cheddar gives the dish a bit of tang but doesn’t make it overly cheesy.
The onions are what make this dish I think. Without them the cauliflower wouldn’t have a partner to compliment it so nicely.
Of course the prosciutto tastes fantastic! I happened to have that on hand as well, so I used it. Certainly you can sub in bacon or even some ham cubes here if you wanted to. If you have ham at your Thanksgiving table, this would make a great idea for using the leftovers.
This dish certainly will be making a repeat appearance here at the HQ!
Have fun guys, and remember, always play with your food! Enjoy!