Of course, my recipe for cauliflower cheese includes three cheeses. Of course, it does!
Up until last Sunday, my dad made the best cauliflower cheese in all the land, but I’m pretty confident the crown is now mine. Soz Daddy Press.
I did steal a tip or two from the master – grate the stalk of the cauliflower over the top of your cauliflower cheese for a crunchy top – and then proceeded to add two different kinds of breadcrumb and extra cheese. Sometimes you just gotta.
Cauliflower cheese wars aside, this is a super easy side recipe for my personal favourite side dish. It makes enough for 4-5 servings and is great on its own, kind of like a healthy mac and cheese alternative. I use the word healthy quite lightly there…
1 large cauliflower, broken into florets and washed (keep the stalk for later!)
50g plain flour
500ml semi-skimmed milk
2 tsp Dijon mustard
A pinch of paprika
120g mature cheddar, grated
20g parmesan, grated
20g mozzarella (I bought the pre-grated stuff in a bag – it’s quite tricky to grate a mozzarella ball!)
2 tbsp golden breadcrumbs
1 tbsp Panko breadcrumbs
Fresh cracked black pepper
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the cauliflower for 3-4 minutes. You want it to soften ever so slightly but remain firm. Place it on a tea towel to dry while you make your roux.
Melt the butter in a saucepan and once it’s turned to liquid, turn the heat down to medium and stir in the flour. You’ll need to keep stirring to get a smooth, golden result.
Take the pan off the heat and add the milk, a glug at a time, and keep stirring.
Pop the pan back on the heat and bring to the boil, again, while stirring.
Stir in the mustard and paprika, as well as about 100g of the cheddar and then set to one side.
Spread the cauliflower florets about in a baking dish – I favour the hardy ceramic ones – and then pour the cheese sauce over them. You might want to push them around a bit with a spoon to ensure every floret is covered. Then, grate the stalk of the cauliflower over the top, scatter the rest of the cheddar, parmesan and mozzarella on top of that, followed by the breadcrumbs – golden first, then Panko – and finish with salt and pepper.
Bake for 30-35 minutes.