Makes 4 servings
8 cups cauliflower florets (about 1 head)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1⁄2 cups fat-free milk
1⁄2 cup heavy cream
3⁄8 teaspoon table salt
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Toss the cauliflower florets in the oil on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with the kosher salt and 1⁄4 teaspoon of the pepper. Roast until fork-tender and lightly browned in spots, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven but leave the oven on and reduce the temperature to 350°F.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat.
Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk.
Simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently, until thickened, 2 to 4 minutes. Whisk in the cream and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and stir in all but 2 tablespoons of the cheese, the table salt, and the remaining 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper. Stir until the cheese melts, then cook, stirring often, until thickened, 8 to 10 minutes.
Place the cauliflower florets in an 8 x 8-inch glass baking dish or four 10-ounce ramekins. Pour the cheese sauce on top. Sprinkle the top of the cauliflower with the remaining 2 tablespoons cheese.
Bake until the cheese is bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm.