Lactose free, gluten free... sounds good.
I cut the florets into even pieces.Since I wanted to speed things up, I microwaved them for about 5 minutes-- just enough to partially cook them but not turn them to mush. You are not going to see my usual step-by-step photos on how I made the sauce, because I wasn't sure what my end result would be-- I just started whisking and adding without a camera nearby. I decided that I would make a white sauce (equal parts butter and flour, and whole milk). I've taken some brief classes in nutrition (since my son is a diabetic, and it was part of my Esthetics training, years ago). I'm all for the Mediterranean Diet-- in particular Omega-3 fats, which is found in olive oil. -- I started with 2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter, and about 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Next, I thickened the fat with equal flour and let it cook for a minute or two. Instead of using whole milk, I splashed in 1% milk (which is what I drink anyway), and used mostly low-sodium chicken to make the sauce silky smooth. For seasonings, I added one small minced garlic clove, kosher salt & fresh cracked pepper, and a small pinch of cayenne pepper. I gave it a taste-- ah, a little Dijon mustard....there! I have fresh thyme in our herb garden, but I didn't want to leave my sauce. I grabbed a pinch of dried thyme, instead. Last, I added about 1/2 cup of freshly grated Cabot cheese. The sauce was thick, perfect and tasted great! So, I grabbed my camera...
I was starting to have high hopes that I pulled it off. I decided to moisten some Japanese panko crumbs (which I always have on hand, because I love the crunch of them far better than traditional bread crumbs), and slightly moistened them with a little olive oil. I topped the partially cooked cauliflower and placed the casserole into a 350F oven, for about 20 minutes.
My taste buds are remembering this dish, at this very moment. Look at that bubbly sauce, would ya?!