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Cauliflower Cheese

by Bee Berrie

Cauliflower Cheese
Time to complete
1 hour
Serving size
4 as a side, 2-3 as a main
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Ingredients

Preparation

Cauliflower cheese is a favourite winter warmer, and by using up the leaves and adding in some extra greens with the cavolo nero, you’re increasing the nutrient content too.

Consider serving with a fresh green salad with a lemon dressing to cut through the richness.

  1. Pull the leaves and cut the stem from the base of the cauliflower, cutting both into roughly 4cm / 1 inch pieces. Fry the chopped leaves and stem in the olive oil in a HexClad 25CM Hybrid Fry Pan over a low-medium heat for around 10 minutes until they become a little soft. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Put a HexClad 5 Litre Hybrid Pot of water on to boil, then separate the cauliflower florets and break into chunky 5-6cm / 1 1/2 inch pieces. Blanch these in the boiling water for a minute or two to part cook. Drain and set to one side.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the chopped bacon in the cauliflower leaf pan until the edges have some colour and the fat is crispy. Remove from the pan and set aside with the cauliflower leaves, allow the pan to cool.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  5. Heat the milk over a medium heat in a HexClad 2 Litre Hybrid Pot until it is steaming hot. Wipe the cooled bacon pan clean and set over a low before adding the butter and flour, whisking to make a smooth roux - don’t let it brown.
  6. Add the warm milk, a few splashes at a time, to the roux, whisking constantly, until you have a thick white sauce with no lumps. Now add in the cheese (saving the red leicester for the top), turn off the heat, and stir until it has melted into the sauce.
  7. Now add the ingredients into the cheese sauce - the bacon and cavolo nero first, stirring to mix well. Then add in the cauliflower pieces, a few at a time, stirring to coat in the sauce - keep adding until the pan is brimming full, don’t worry, it will all fit!  Before baking, sprinkle the red leicester on top with some freshly ground black pepper and a few more thyme leaves.
  8. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes, and serve piping hot.