How to make an unbeatable baked cauliflower cheese? Just triple the cheeses – we like the combination of Gruyère, cheddar and parmesan – plus the crunch of crisp breadcrumb top to take this all-time classic to new heights. Now that's a side dish.
- 1 small cauliflower (about 1kg), cut into florets and thickly sliced
- 25 gm butter
- 25 gm plain flour
- 400 ml milk
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 100 ml pouring cream
- 100 gm coarsely grated Gruyère
- 80 gm coarsely grated cheddar
- 50 gm finely grated parmesan
- 120 gm coarse sourdough breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional), to serve
- 1Preheat oven to 200°C. Blanch cauliflower in a large saucepan of boiling salted water (2 minutes; see cook's notes p152). Drain and leave to steam dry, then transfer to a 1.9-litre baking dish.
- 2Meanwhile, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add flour and stir until sandy-coloured (2-3 minutes). Add milk in a few batches, whisking until smooth, then add mustard, cream and cheeses (except 2 tbsp each Gruyère and parmesan) and stir until cheese melts (2-3 minutes). Season to taste then pour cheese sauce over cauliflower.
- 3Toss breadcrumbs in a bowl with oil and scatter over cauliflower with remaining cheese. Bake until golden and bubbling (40-45 minutes) and serve hot.