I’m a fan of cauliflower. It’s much maligned, much like brussel sprouts. I suspect that people who hate these vegetables have only had it boiled to death to the point of smelling like socks, which is really not making the best of them! I assure you that cooked perfectly,with some bite still in them, both sprouts and cauliflower are delicious.
I usually eat cauliflower either by mashing it and using it as a replacement for mashed potato, or by making cauliflower cheese. Cauliflower cheese is, of course, cauliflower baked in cheese sauce. I usually serve it as side dish as it complements a variety of meats – particularly pork or chicken.
I happened upon a recipe that turned this great side dish into the star of the show and I couldn’t resist giving it a try.
It’s really a lot easier to make than it looks – especially if you use pre-bought pastry.
If you really can’t bear to eat a vegetarian meal, this would be very tasty with some chopped, fried bacon mixed into the cauliflower cheese just before you assemble and bake it.
Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food
- 350g shortcrust pastry
- 1 small head cauliflower , broken into florets
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 25g butter
- 250ml milk
- 100g cheddar
- 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
- 2 eggs
- 20g Gran Padano , grated
- Heat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Roll out the pastry to 20p thickness then line a 23cm tart tin. Line with baking parchment and fill with baking beans then cook for 15 minutes. Take out the paper and beans and cook for another 5 minutes. Cook the cauliflower in boiling salted water until tender, about 5-6 minutes. Drain well.
- Put the flour, butter and milk in a pan. Heat, whisking all the time until it comes to a simmer and begins to thicken. Cook for 3 minutes then add the cheese and stir until melted. Cool a little then stir in the mustard and eggs. Add the cauliflower and stir well, then season. Spoon the mix into the tart case, scatter over the grana padano then return to the oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. serve warm.