1 head cauliflower (1 ½ lbs.) cut into small florets
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon butter, divided
½ cup fine bread crumbs
½ lb. sliced white mushrooms
¼ cup chopped green bell pepper
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
¼ cup flour
2 cups scalded milk
1 1/3 cups medium sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Makes 6 servings
1. Place cauliflower florets and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a heavy saucepan. Add water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and cook until cauliflower is tender when pierced with a small knife, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add bread crumbs and mix to combine. Set aside.
3. Melt the remaining 1/3 cup butter in a large frying pan over low heat. Add mushrooms, green pepper, remaining teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
4. Remove from heat, add flour, and mix thoroughly. Return pan to heat, increase to medium heat, add milk, and cook, stirring, until mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat.
5. Set the oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 1 ½ quart round ovenproof casserole with vegetable spray.
6. Place half of the cooked cauliflower in prepared dish. Pour half of the mushroom-pepper sauce over cauliflower and sprinkle with half of cheese. Repeat to layer the remaining cauliflower, sauce, and cheese. Sprinkle with bread crumbs mixture.
7. Place baking dish on cookie sheet and bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until casserole is golden brown and bubbling. Serve hot.