Sometimes I really fancy a vegetarian dinner and cauliflower bake is one of my favourites. It is so comforting. I really like Romanesco cauliflower I think it has an earlier flavour and doesn’t go too watery when boiled either so it works really well in this recipe. To make it more of a dinner we added some gnocchi. When I have a load of potatoes left over and make up a big batch and freeze them down in portions you can even cook them from frozen you know they are cooked when they float to the top.
Ingredients (serves 2 as a main)
- 2 large leeks, trimmed and sliced
- Leaves from a few thyme sprigs
- 1 large Romanesco cauliflower, sliced into florets
- 1 portion of gnocchi (recipe here)
- Good grating nutmeg
- 40g butter
- 40g plain flour
- 1 pint of skimmed milk
- 50g stilton cheese, crumbled into pieces
- 25g whole wheat fresh breadcrumbs
- Lightly grease a 1 litre ovenproof dish with olive oil. Heat a little more oil in a pan and fry the leeks for 15 minutes with the thyme leaves.
- Meanwhile, bring a pan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the cauliflower to the pan and boil for 2 minutes. Drain the cauliflower and toss with the leeks, add a good grating of nutmeg, season, then tip into the dish.
- Heat the oven to 180 degrees (fan).
- Put 40g of butter into a small pan and let it melt over a low heat. Next at 40g of plain flour and using a balloon whisk or wood spoon stir the butter and the flour together and keep stirring continuously over a low heat for 2 minutes
- Now stir in 1 pint of milk in batches making sure that you stir all the time. The sauce will thicken but try not to let it boil. Next add the crumbed cheese and keep stirring until it has melted. Turn the heat down to the lowest setting and allow the sauce to cook out for 5 minutes
- While this is happening, cook the Gnocchi in a pan of boiling water (they will float to the top when they are cooked) and then add to the dish with the vegetables
- Now tip the cheese sauce into the oven proof dish and make sure that it covers the vegetables and the Gnocchi
- Sprinkle the fresh breadcrumbs over the gratin. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden.