There is one dish I look forward to making and eating with ravenous delight every Thanksgiving. No, it’s not the green bean casserole. It’s not the turkey and mash potatoes with gravy or the stuffing. It is a side dish called Champagne Cauliflower, which cooks in the oven smothered in champagne for an hour and a half before it is then smothered with a creamy Gruyere cheese sauce.
You must try this dish with your aunts, uncles and long-lost cousins that you see every 10 years at Thanksgiving. You must make it for your parents and your grandparents because they will know they raised you well. This dish is a crowd pleaser every holiday season in my home!
- Two heads of cauliflower, cored
- 2 cups dry Champagne
- 2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- 5 garlic cloves, lightly smashed
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 pound Gruyère cheese, shredded
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Place your cauliflower in a 10-by-16-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Add the Champagne (I like to use a Korbel dry brut), stock, and garlic to the baking dish and season the cauliflower with plenty of salt and white pepper to taste.
- Cover with foil and roast for 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until tender. Baste the cauliflower with the pan juices every 30 minutes.
- Preheat the broiler. Broil the cauliflower for 5 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Strain the pan juices and reserve 2 cups. Keep the cauliflower warm.
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the flour and whisk over moderate heat for 1 minute. Whisk in the 2 cups of pan juices and the milk until smooth. Add the cheese and cook, whisking frequently, until the sauce is thickened, 5 minutes. Season with salt and white pepper. Pour the sauce over the cauliflower and serve.
- This dish can also be made in advance. Refrigerate the cheese sauce separately from the cauliflower.
Megan Woolsey lives in Northern California with her family of six, including triplets and a vivacious big sister. Megan authors the blog, The Hip Mothership where she talks about parenting children in a time of iDevices and helicopter parenting. Megan has been published in Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, The Mid, XOJane, Mamalode, BLUNTmoms, BonBon Break, Role Reboot, and Erma Bombeck’s Writer’s Workshop. She has an essay published in the anthology, It’s Really 10 Month Special Delivery. She and her partner Alison Lee are working on an anthology called Multiples Illuminated, all about the wonderful world of raising multiples. When she isn’t sweating it out in hot yoga or writing her next article, Megan is seeking out the perfect glass of red wine that doesn’t render a hangover. When Megan needs a break from the kids, you can find her perusing her social media pages, Facebook,Twitter and Pinterest.