Cauliflower, mayonnaise, mustard and cheddar cheese come together in this easy and delicious side dish! It is fancy enough for entertaining, and…did I say easy??
This recipe is one of those really easy recipes that is always a hit. And the best part…you only use 6 ingredients, including salt and pepper. Now, think about that! Are you in yet???
I started making this when the kids were still living at home. As I posted with the Southwestern Corn Dip, when Jennifer was in the hospital in Lubbock for 101 days before the twins were born, this was one of the recipes I always had to make and take to the hospital for her…including on Thanksgiving. (Don’t recommend having your Thanksgiving dinner in a hospital…you’ll be doing without the wine!) She loves this cauliflower…and I love this cauliflower because it is so easy. You can get all of the preparation, up to baking, done ahead of time. Just pop it in the oven about 15 minutes before serving time.
My sister-in-laws and I always split up the holidays. My sister-in-law, Cherie, has always had Thanksgiving at her home. I think that has always been one of the kids’ favorite holidays with the huge extended family. It had grown to about 60-70 relatives. Well, starting 2 years ago, our Thanksgiving lives changed. 3 years ago, Jennifer’s husband, Bennie, became the head strength coach at the University of Texas at Austin. 2 years ago, Texas started having a game on Thanksgiving weekend so; guess where we started going for Thanksgiving. For the last 2 years, we have had Thanksgiving at Jennifer’s house in Austin with our family and my sister, Suzann, and her husband, Bill. This cauliflower dish had to be on the menu…along with lots of other family favorites. I will try to get them all posted so you can take a look at them and consider using them for your Thanksgiving dinner.
I try to use a good quality Sharp Cheddar Cheese, and if I have the time, I prefer to grate the cheese myself. As I have learned, the cheese melts better if it’s freshly grated. I must say, I’m usually too lazy to take the time to grate it! However, I the buy the Tillamook Sharp or Medium Cheddar Cheese in a large block from Costco just in case I decide to grate my own. (If the twins are here, I use it to make my World Famous Grilled Cheese Sandwiches!! ) I also get the large jar of Hellman’s mayonnaise there. Since I only use Hellman’s mayonnaise, and I use a lot of it, I like getting it in the large jar.
I usually glop the mayonnaise/mustard mixture on the cauliflower with a spoon, then spread it around with my fingers…maybe so I can lick my fingers clean??? I could eat this mixture with a spoon…forget the cauliflower! This sauce reminds me of when I was a kid, my friend, Laura Gustafsen’s, mother used to make us a mayonnaise/mustard dip with Fritoes and a Coke. I can still see us sitting at her kitchen table having our snack and talking about kid stuff. It was the best! I still sometime cheat and make it…comfort food, I guess, but it makes me smile!
- 1 large cauliflower head (leave whole), green leaves broken off, rinsed and drained
- dash sea or Kosher salt
- to taste fresh ground white pepper
- to taste sea or Kosher salt
- ½ cup Hellman's mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons prepared mustard (I use French's)
- ¾ cup finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese (more may be necessary to totally cover the head of cauliflower)
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Lightly spray a heat-proof, shallow, round casserole with Pam. I use a round Corning Ware or Pyrex pie or quiche pan.
- Place the cauliflower, stem side down, in a deep pot and cover with water.
- Sprinkle with a dash of salt.
- Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil.
- Reduce the heat so the water is at a medium boil.
- Boil for about 15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is slightly soft when pierced with a skewer. (Be careful not to over-cook, as the head will fall apart.)
- Drain well and cool in a colander.
- In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and mustard.
- When the cauliflower is completely cooled, place it in the prepared casserole stem side down.
- Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Spread the mayonnaise/mustard mixture over the cauliflower as if you were icing a cake.
- Cover with the shredded cheese, pressing the cheese into the mayonnaise mixture.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese just starts to melt and is bubbly.