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Triple-cheese cauliflower

Three cheeses (count them), soft baked cauliflower and crisp breadcrumbs. Now that's a side dish.

By Lisa Featherby
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 1 hr cooking
  • Serves 6
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Three cheeses and added crunch from crisp breadcrumbs elevate an all-time classic: the unbeatable baked cauliflower and cheese.

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  • 1
    Preheat 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.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, 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.
  • 3
    Toss breadcrumbs in a bowl with oil and scatter over cauliflower with remaining cheese. Bake until golden and bubbling (40-45 minutes) and serve hot.