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Martha Collison's baked cauliflower cheese
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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
FOR THE CHEESE SAUCE
550ml whole milk
2 bay leaves
1 blade of mace
10 black peppercorns
½ onion, peeled and halved
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.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in November 2017.