Whole Roasted Cauliflower Cheese

One Delicious ingredient. Show off your roast.

I really enjoy looking for simple ways to get a little more from a concept everyone loves. When it comes to a great roast dinner, this is perfect.

Classic cauliflower cheese, roasted whole. The trick is how you make your bechamel (the white sauce). The simple sauce of milk, flour and butter. Flavouring the milk with the cauliflower before you roast the final dish.

The number you feed depends how big you cauliflower is, a medium will serve 4-6 as part of a roast.

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1 Cauliflower

600ml whole milk

50g plain flower

100g butter

a couple of cloves of garlic

a few sprigs of thyme

a tablespoon of wholegrain mustard

around 100g of extra mature cheddar

First, remove the outer leaves of the Cauliflower and the woodiest part of the stalk but not too much as you want the cauliflower to remain whole. Pour the milk into a pan with the garlic and the thyme. Bring to the boil, season and then add the whole cauliflower with the stalk on the bottom. Cover the pan, It doesnt matter if the cauliflower isnt full submerged but should be at least half way up. Add extra milk if needed but remember to only use the 600ml when making the sauce later on. Cook for around half an hour until the cauliflower is soft but not mushy.

Set the cauliflower aside to cool ideally in a fridge. Its really important that when you come to roasting your cauliflower that its cold. As with the sauce. Great to prepare the day before so ready to simply roast on the day. Strain the milk to remove the herb.

Whilst the milk is hot add your butter and flour into a pan to make a roux. On a low heat, cook gently for a few minutes to ‘cook out’ the flour. It takes away any taste of raw flour. Now gently start adding the hot milk until you have a lovely smooth sauce. Now add the mustard and half the cheese. Add salt and pepper. Set aside and leave to cool.

Once both are cold, find yourself a pie dish perhaps and layer some of the sauce on the bottom. Score the top of the cauliflower with a knife. Only a millimeter or so. This will help the sauce stay on top and go into the cauliflower as it roasts. Place the cauliflower on the sauce, cover with more sauce and top with the rest of the cheese. Roast in a pre heated 180oc oven for about 40 minutes under golden.

Tastes great.

 

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