I said cream right in the title but I feel the need to further warn you that this is one indulgent side dish. Tender cream-coloured cauliflower, tossed in warm cream that’s been flavoured with leeks softened in creamy butter. Does that drive it home? Decadent, if a little dangerous, and worth it.
Cauliflower in a Leek Cream Sauce
You can steam the cauliflower a day or two before and reheat before proceeding with the sauce, which takes minutes to make.
1 large head of cauliflower, cored and cut into 8-10 large wedges
2 tbs unsalted butter
1 large or 2 thin leeks, white and pale green parts only, trimmed, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise and cleaned well
1 1/2 c heavy cream
Freshly ground white pepper, or black
Steam the cauliflower in batches for 7-10 minutes until fork-tender at the stems and set aside to cool slightly. Then cut into bite-sized pieces, taking some care to cut around and preserve florets rather than rough-chopping them.
Melt the butter in a large, high-sided skillet or pot over medium-low heat, add the leeks and sauté gently, until they soften. Season with salt, stir frequently and do not allow them to brown. Then add the cream, season generously with salt and pepper (this sauce is the only seasoning the cauliflower will get), and heat through, stirring, without letting the cream boil. Add cauliflower and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.