As a main or side dish, this cheesy cauliflower bake recipe is perfect for those cold, wintery nights.
There is something magical about finding a perfectly formed cauliflower in your garden.
I planted a few and had forgotten what they were as they grew. Then I peeked inside the leaves one day and there hiding was a perfectly formed cauliflower. Such magic.
After letting it grow in size I chopped it and wondered what hearty wintery dish I could create. As a child I never much liked cauliflower. I didn’t like the texture and sogginess of it, but growing one to perfection in the garden, then roasting it with a tasty cheese sauce is hard not to love.
I couldn’t really go past a classic cheesy cauliflower bake recipe.
- One cauliflower, preferably homegrown, locally or organically grown. The beauty is in eating it fresh.
- Slightly stale bread ends
- Several slices of bacon and pancetta. Home grown, local or free-range.
- Mix of herbs, whatever you have growing in the garden, I used rosemary.
- A clove of garlic.
- 2 tbsp of butter
- 2 tbsp of flour
- 2 cups of milk
- 2 cups of grated cheese.
- Salt, nutmeg, pepper
- Blue cheese (optional)
Blanch cauliflower in boiling water. Be careful not to overcook it. Drain.
Place bread ends in food processor with herbs and garlic, blend until breadcrumb texture.
Melt butter in saucepan, add bacon or pancetta cook until crisp, add flour and stir continuously to avoid lumps.
Add milk, stir until starting to thicken, add cheeses.
Remove from heat and add salt, nutmeg, pepper and blue cheese.
Spread cheese sauce on base of dish, place cauliflower on top, cover in cheese sauce, cover with breadcrumbs and cook in oven until browned.