zoom Martha Collison's baked cauliflower cheese

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    Martha Collison's baked cauliflower cheese

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    Martha Collison's baked cauliflower cheese

    • Attributes
    • Preparation time: 15 minutes to 20 minutes
    • Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 25-30 minutes

    Serves: 4-6 (as a side dish)


    1 whole cauliflower
    2 tsp Dijon mustard
    2 tbsp olive oil
    ½ x 80g pack essential Waitrose Grated Parmigiano Reggiano

    550ml whole milk
    2 bay leaves
    1 blade of mace
    10 black peppercorns
    ½ onion, peeled and halved
    30g butter
    1½ tbsp plain flour
    50g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
    50g red Leicester (preferably Belton Farm Red Fox)


    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Peel the leaves off the cauliflower and trim the stem so it sits flat, then place into a casserole dish or ovenproof saucepan with a lid.

    2. Rub the outside of the cauliflower with the mustard and olive oil until completely coated, then sprinkle over the Parmigiano Reggiano and a little black pepper. Cover with a lid and bake for 25 minutes, then remove the lid and allow the cauliflower to bake for a further 40-45 minutes, or until tender and golden brown on top.

    3. While the cauliflower is baking, make the cheese sauce. Pour the milk into a large saucepan and add the bay leaves, mace, peppercorns and onion. Bring the milk to a simmer, then turn the heat off and allow the flavours to infuse into the milk. Strain the infused milk into a jug and discard the herbs, spices and onion.

    4. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the flour so a thick paste forms, then continue to cook for 1 minute. Slowly pour in the infused milk, whisking all the time, until thick and smooth. Allow to simmer for a further 2-3 minutes, then remove from the heat and add the grated cheeses. Stir gently until the cheese has completely melted, then pour into a warm jug. When you are ready to serve the cauliflower cheese, bring the roasted cauliflower to the table and pour over the hot cheese sauce. Serve immediately. 

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