Step aside, mac and cheese! This saucy cauliflower bake, with bacon, onion, and pepper jack cheese under a crisp crumb topping, is vegetal-ly better. Quite literally edible flowers, heads of cauliflower are the mildest-flavored members of the cruciferous vegetable family.
Yes, bacon, cheese, mustard-cream and Panko makes this comfort food—but with vegetal benefits. Like its more aggressive sibs, cauliflower is full of antioxidants, essential vitamins and minerals, anti-inflammatory compounds, fiber and more.
To make the gratin, you’ll simmer the cauli-florets with bacon and onion in chicken stock and milk, make the sauce, top with panko, and bake until bubbly. We like to serve the gratin with freshly sliced tomatoes and steamed green beans, but it works well as a side for roast chicken. If you have any leftovers, the gratin keeps well for second-day service.