Classic White Sauce For Cauli

A white sauce is the most simple of classic dishes. And it really does go beautifully with cauliflower, particularly when the white sauce is mixed at the end with an aggressive melting cheese like cheddar. It’s very simple to make. Just measure out equal quantities of butter and flour, and have plenty of simmering milk on hand. Use a gentle hand with the salt, a good hit of black pepper, and plenty of fresh nutmeg, and you’re there.

200-400mL milk, depending on sauce thickness required

50g butter

50g flour


black pepper


100g grated cheddar or parmesan cheese (add more if you like)

fresh herbs, chopped roughly


Bring the milk to a gentle simmer, and keep warm while you prepare the butter and flour mixture.


On a low heat melt the butter, until it just starts to foam. Add the flour all at once, and stir through the butter. Cook for a few minutes, stirring all the while. You will sense the flour drawing up the butter and the flour cooking. There’s something quite soothing about this. The mixture should remain golden – never let it get near browning.


Add the simmering milk, a third at a time, stirring in, stirring in, stirring in. Once it’s all together, cook for about five minutes, adding salt and black pepper to taste. Add the nutmeg, preferably freshly grated.


Once all this has been done, add the cheese and the herbs and stir through, still on the gentle heat. Set aside to cool.


Once cool, cover tightly with plastic wrap. If left to the air, the white sauce will form a crust.


Use the white sauce to cover barely cooked cauliflower. Reheat in a low oven (180°C), until the cauli is warmed through, rather than cooked through. Serve as an accompaniment to whatever.