I had a half of a head of cauliflower to use and I was really craving mac + cheese. I knew it was time to Google and a Michelle Obama recipe popped up. I guess since it’s political season, this recipe of was appropriate I suppose.
Cauliflower Mac + Cheese (adapted from The First Lady/Yum Sugar)
1/2 pound penne pasta (half a box–use whole wheat. just do it!)
1 cup milk
8oz shredded cheddar cheese (or a mixture of your favorite melting cheeses)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1.5 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tablespoon melted butter or margarine
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1. Preheat the oven to 350º. Bring salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente.
2. Steam the cauliflower until soft, about 10 minutes. Immersion blend the cauliflower(or transfer to a blender) along with a few tablespoons of the steaming liquid into a puree the cauliflower. Add more steaming liquid to thin the puree if necessary.
3. In a medium size casserole dish, combine the pasta and hot cauliflower puree. Add the milk, both cheeses, parsley, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. In a small bowl, mix the melted butter and breadcrumbs with your fingers until it resembles damp sand. Sprinkle across the top of the pasta mixture, then place the dish in the oven for about 20-30 minutes until the top is crispy and the sauce is bubbling.
I was really skeptical about this dish considering I usually make mac + cheese with a delicious cheese sauce. But, It was really good, very quick and easy and I’d make it again.
For the cheeses I used low-fat sharp cheddar and Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar which you MUST RUN TO TRADER JOE’S NOW and get. It is a cross between sharp cheddar and parmesan. Good luck not eating the whole brick!
Back to the dish… the cauliflower taste was there, but it was subtle. Perfect for any vegetable-phobic in your life. Or if you want to trick yourself into eating more vegetables… I don’t think Michelle Obama would be mad.