Creamy sauces are the bases of multiple different dishes from lasagnes and soups to stews and baked vegetables. Although easy to whip up, a traditional bechamel can often be extremely heavy on the stomach. This cauliflower cream sauce is the perfect, light, plant based substitute that will never let you miss your traditional bechamel.
In our version, we add a little basil to make a pesto bechamel that can be the base of a pasta dish or part of a lasagna.
- A small sized cauliflower
- Salt and Pepper
- Vegetable Stock powder (optional)
- Dairy or non-dairy milk
- Fresh Basil leaves
- 4 Garlic
- Cut the cauliflower into smaller florets. Steam or boil the florets until the are tender. This will take about 15 minutes. Do not worry about over cooking them because we are eventually going to blend them into a sauce.
- Meanwhile, chop up the garlic into small pieces and sauté in oil until translucent
- Transfer the florets into a blender. Add the garlic and oil as well. At this stage you may add a little vegetable stock, however we made our without it and it was absolutely delicious. Add a hand full of basil leaves and blend the ingredients, until you reach a creamy consistency
- Move the creamy sauce into a pot on the stove. Pour in a the milk, bit by bit while stirring the sauce. Add as much milk as required to reach a desired consistency. For a baked dish, we usually aim to achieve a thinner consistency, therefore needing more milk. However for a pasta dish, we tend to add less milk and retain the thickness of the bechamel sauce.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste, along with a pinch of nutmeg to get that extra kick. Add in a few more basil leaves for enhanced flavour
Your sauce is not ready!! Boil some pasta and top it off with a little sauce, add this to make a delicious cream of tomato soup or make this a new addition to your lasagna dish.
This is only a basic bechamel. You can enhance this sauce by sautéing mushrooms with onion and garlic before add the sauce to the pan. Play around with the sauce and comment on how you feel after eating our light version of one of our favourite sauces.