Special Diet

Romanesco Cauliflower Cheese

cook 30 mins
  • 8 baby romanescos or 500 g (1 lb) large cauliflower florets
  • 40 g (1 1/4 oz) butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 500 ml (17 fl oz) whole milk
  • 40 g (1 1/4 oz) plain flour
  • 2 bay leaves
  • a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 300 g (10 oz) mature farmhouse Cheddar, grated
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • Trim the base of each romanesco to flatten and then lightly butter a shallow, ovenproof dish.
  • To make the sauce, melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan. Gently heat the milk in a separate saucepan. Stir the flour into the melted butter and cook on a low heat for 2–3 minutes, stirring from time to time. Remove the pan from the heat and pour in a little of the warmed milk, stirring continuously. Gradually add the rest of the milk, again stirring continuously. Add the bay leaves and nutmeg and season well. Return the pan to a low heat and cook for 10–12 minutes (or until there is no taste of flour), stirring frequently. Remove the bay leaves. Stir in the Cheddar and remove from the heat.
  • Preheat the grill to medium-high.
  • Meanwhile, cook the romanescos or cauliflower florets in boiling water for about 5–6 minutes. Drain well, then place in the prepared dish and pour over the sauce.
  • Sprinkle over the Parmesan and cook under a preheated grill for 1 minute until lightly browned. Serve immediately.
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