Spring is such a lovely time in my kitchen. With a new season brings new recipes to try, and old favourites to bring back out. I've changed over all of my kitchen accessories to my Wildlife in Spring range, and I'm excited to be making use of the new seasons produce!
Cauliflowers are one of my favourite seasonal Spring vegetables; they're so incredibly versatile, and are the perfect vegetable for countless side dishes.
One of my absolute favourite ways to prepare Cauliflower is in a Cauliflower Cheese bake, so hearty and warming and just the ticket for when the days are getting longer but not necessarily warmer.
The real question is - do you have Cauliflower Cheese with your Sunday roast?!
Here's my recipe for a delicious Cauliflower Cheese every single time.
1 large cauliflower, cut into large florets
2 tbsp olive oil
pinch of cayenne pepper
40g vegetarian finely grated Parmesan
For the sauce
40g plain flour
600ml whole milk
1 tsp mustard powder or English mustard
1 tsp yeast extract (not necessary but we love it - you could use Marmite or nutritional yeast flakes)
150g extra mature cheddar, most grated, some cubed
grating of nutmeg
For the topping
3 tbsp dried breadcrumbs (I like to use Panko or golden toasted)
2 tbsp crispy onions
- Heat the oven to 210C/190C fan/gas 7. Pop the cauliflower florets into a shallow baking dish and toss with the oil, cayenne and a pinch of salt. Scatter with half the parmesan and roast for 20 mins until crisp and golden.
- Take this out of the oven to toss the florets again, then sprinkle with more (but not all) of the parmesan and roast for 10 mins more until starting to char a little, then take back out the oven and set aside.
- While the cauliflower is roasting, make the sauce. Heat the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat until it starts to go frothy. Scatter over and stir in the flour, cooking for 3 mins until you have a sandy paste, then add the milk, a splash at a time, keeping it at a simmer and whisking between each addition until smooth.
- Once all the milk has been added, continue to cook the sauce gently, stirring occasionally for 15 mins until thickened and silky, then stir through the mustard powder and yeast extract, if you're including that.
- Remove from the heat and add the grated cheddar, a handful at a time, until you have a thick, cheesy sauce. At this point stir in the cubed cheese and season with nutmeg and salt, if needed.
- Pour the sauce over the cauliflower in the baking dish to fully coat it. Mix the breadcrumbs with the remaining parmesan, then scatter this over the cauliflower cheese and bake for 20 mins. Sprinkle with the crispy onions and bake for a further 10 mins until bubbling and deep golden.
- Set aside for five minutes to cool slightly, then serve while warm, and enjoy.