Cauliflower Cheese

Another classic that in my opinion clearly dispels the myth that British cuisine is bland and boring. Cauliflower cheese combines very simple ingredients to create this naughtily comforting dish.
Tried & Tasted Recipe:
  • 1 Cauliflower
  • 50g plain flour
  • 50g butter and a little extra
  • 400ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 100ml cream
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • Nutmeg
  • 200g grated Cheddar cheese *
Trim the cauliflower and cut into florets. Steam the florets for about 10 minutes until just tender.
Whilst the cauliflower is taken care of, make the cheese sauce.
Now, you can do this the hard way and make a roux first. Or you can save yourself a lot of time and trouble by going the easy-peasy way. I choose easy-peasy: put butter, flour and milk in a pan and stir over low heat until the sauce has thickened and is glossy and bubbly. Then let simmer for at least 5 more minutes so the flour has had time to cook.
Add the cream and about half the cheese to the sauce, along with mustard, a pinch of nutmeg, and season to taste.
Lay the cauliflower in a buttered ovenproof dish; pour the cheese sauce all over and finish by sprinkling the remaining cheese.
If using gruyere or similar cheeses that do not lusciously melt as Cheddar does, give it a little help by dotting the dish with bits of butter before putting under the grill.
Serve the cauliflower still bubbling under its golden cheesy blanket. A great side dish to any roast meat, with a leafy salad, or just perfect on its own.

*A mature Cheddar is traditionally used in this recipe but if you can’t find one easily, use another yellow hard cheese such as Comté or Beaufort. Alternatively you can vary the cheese or use two or three different kinds. Why not blue cheese? Don’t hesitate to experiment; anything that is tasty and melts well will work.

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