Cauliflower in Almond Sauce

Cauliflower Almond SauceWarning- this may be a veggie dish, but it definitely is NOT healthy! It’s very rich and requires lots of time (and dishes), but it’s SO worth it. I’d consider it an indulgent side…


3/4 cup half-and-half
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup almonds, roasted and unsalted
2.5 tbsp butter
2.5 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
5 oz Manchego cheese, grated (save 1 oz for topping)
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup onions, sliced thin
12 oz cauliflower florets, cut into bite site pieces
1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
ground Ancho pepper (optional), to sprinkle on top
salt, to taste


1.  In a medium saucepan, heat the half and half, milk, and almonds on med-high. As soon as it boils, remove it from the heat and blend (I used an immersion blender). Let it stand for 15 mins, then strain through a fine sieve-  keep the almond infused milk for step 2. (I used the rest of it in oatmeal, skin and all, because I couldn’t bear to throw away almonds.

2.  In a heavy bottom saucepan, heat 2.5 tbsp butter on med-high. When melted, whisk in the all purpose flour and stir constantly for 1-2 min until the flour just begins to brown. Then slowly add the milk from Step 1 while whisking. Add the nutmeg, paprika, and ground black pepper. Continue to whisk for 5 mins until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and whisk in 4 oz of Manchego and salt (if needed) until smooth.

3.  In a saute pan or skillet, heat 2 tbsp butter on med-high.  When hot, add the onions and cook for 3 mins.  Add the cauliflower and a pinch of salt and cook for an additional 5 min.

4.  Mix the sauce, cauliflower, and pine nuts and spread in an 8 x 8 inch baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1 oz Manchego on top. Sprinkle the Ancho pepper on top (optional). Cover with foil.

5.  Bake at 400 F for 10 mins. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 mins.  Let it sit ~10 mins (so it thickens) before serving.


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