WHOLE ROASTED CAU­LI­FLOWER WITH MOR­NAY SAUCE

The Globe and Mail Metro (Ontario Edition) - - PURSUITS -

I NGREDIENTS

( SERVES 4 AS A MAIN DISH, 8 AS A SIDE)

2 large heads of cau­li­flower, whole 2 ta­ble­spoons un­salted but­ter 2 ta­ble­spoons all-pur­pose flour

1 cup whole milk, cold

½ heap­ing cup grated Comté cheese ½ tea­spoon fleur de sel

10 turns freshly cracked black pep­per

Prep each cau­li­flower by re­mov­ing any outer leaves with a par­ing knife. Cut care­fully so that each cau­li­flower re­mains whole. Trim the stems so that each one can sit flat.

Fill a large pot three-quar­ters full with well-salted wa­ter and bring to a boil. Add the cau­li­flower, one at a time, to the boil­ing wa­ter flo­ret-side down and al­low to cook with the lid on for 6-8 min­utes. Test the cau­li­flower for done­ness by gen­tly pierc­ing with a knife. The stalk should be soft­ened, but still firm. As it will con­tinue to cook in the oven af­ter, leav­ing the cau­li­flower a lit­tle un­der­cooked is bet­ter than over­cook­ing at this stage.

Care­fully re­move the cau­li­flower from the boil­ing wa­ter us­ing two large slot­ted spoons or a spi­der. Place the cau­li­flower on a large plate for 10 min­utes and al­low any ex­cess liq­uid to steam and strain off. Re­peat with the sec­ond cau­li­flower.

In a small saucepan, melt the but­ter and whisk in the flour over medium-high heat to form a roux. Al­low to sim­mer for 1-2 min­utes while con­tin­u­ing to whisk oc­ca­sion­ally. Grad­u­ally whisk in the cold milk a lit­tle at a time, mak­ing sure it is fully in­cor­po­rated be­tween each ad­di­tion. Whisk in the grated cheese un­til it is fully melted and a smooth mix­ture is achieved. Re­move from the heat and sea­son with salt and pep­per. Lay a piece of parch­ment pa­per across the sur­face of the sauce in or­der to pre­vent a skin from form­ing. Keep aside un­til the cau­li­flower is ready.

PUTTING I T ALL TO­GETHER

½ cup ex­tra vir­gin olive oil, di­vided 2 blanched heads of cau­li­flower Mor­nay sauce

Freshly cracked black pep­per for gar­nish

Pre­heat the oven to 400 F.

Place each blanched cau­li­flower stem­side down in a parch­ment-lined glass bak­ing dish. Di­vide the olive oil in half and pour evenly over the en­tire sur­face of each cau­li­flower. Place in the oven and al­low to bake for ap­prox­i­mately 35 min­utes, or un­til the en­tire sur­face of the cauliflow­ers be­comes deeply browned and roasted. Ro­tate half­way through bak­ing.

Once the cau­li­flower has be­come suf­fi­ciently roasted, re­move it from the oven. Dis­card the parch­ment from the sur­face of the mor­nay and rewhisk the still-warm sauce un­til smooth. Spoon half of the sauce over each cau­li­flower and pop the whole thing back in the oven. Cook again for 5 more min­utes. Gar­nish with freshly cracked black pep­per and serve im­me­di­ately.

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