Sunday, 7 August 2016


I haven't revisited a classic recipe for a while but a few weeks ago I made this gorgeous cauliflower cheese from scratch and I just had to share the recipe with you. My previous cauliflower cheese recipe was an easy peasy version for those of you who are maybe in a rush or not confident to make it from scratch. This one shows you how to make a delicious sauce using butter, flour, milk, Dijon mustard and cheddar cheese. It's surprisingly easy actually and is even better when you add in some bashed up bread sticks, herbs and onions to the mix.

So I'm not going to go into detail about the ingredients for the sauce. If you want an easier version of this recipe you should definitely visit my easy peasy cauliflower cheese recipe. 

What I will say is that you can use white onion instead of red onions, English mustard instead of Dijon or ready made breadcrumbs instead of bashing up bread sticks. I would however recommend that if you are going to use ready made breadcrumbs that you use panko breadcrumbs. Fine breadcrumbs will just get a bit soggy when sprinkled on top of the cheese sauce and you will lose that wonderful crunch. You can experiment a little with the oregano as well and use a different herb if you like until you find a combination that suits you. I think rosemary or sage could work particularly well but I just love the subtle kick oregano gives the the sauce.

The cheese is what really makes this dish what it is so make sure you buy a cheese that melts really well (not mozzarella whatever you do - it'll thicken the sauce too much!), taste delicious and maybe even add to the flavor. A cheese with chili peppered through it or a smoked cheese will add an extra layer of flavor to this already spectacular side!

Here comes the recipe. It should make enough for four people or if you are a whopper like me, it'll make a hefty side for two.

Cauliflower Cheese


1 Medium Sized Cauliflower Broken Into Large Florets
1 Heaped Tbsp Butter
40g Plain Flour
400ml Milk
2 Bay Leaves
1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp Oregano
1 Diced Red Onion
150g Cheddar Cheese
Salt And Pepper To Season
2-3 Breadsticks Bashed Into Pieces

  1. Begin by placing the cauliflower florets in a large pan of salted boiling water and simmer for around 5 minutes until the florets are tender but still a little firm. Drain the florets and leave to one side.
  2. Turn your oven on at this point to 200 degrees (180 fan) whilst you make the sauce. Add the butter to a large pan on a low heat and melt it before adding in the flour. Stir and cook for around one minute before gradually adding the milk, whisking after each addition  to ensure the sauce is smooth. 
  3. Turn the heat up to medium, add the bay leaves and wait, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens before reducing to a simmer for two minutes. Keep stirring to prevent the sauce catching on the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat.
  4. Add the cauliflower, mustard, oregano, onions and to the sauce and give everything a good mix together until the cheese has melted and everything is coated in the sauce. Season liberally with salt and pepper and then transfer everything to an oven proof dish.
  5. Scatter the bashed up bread sticks over the top of the mixture and place in the oven to bake for 25-30 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and the bread sticks are golden brown.
Remove the cauliflower cheese from the oven and leave it to rest for around 10 minutes just to allow the sauce to thicken up again and to make the dish easier to portion out. Under those crunchy bread stick crumbs will be a smooth delicious mustard and herb flavored cheese sauce peppered with bits of onion that will retain a little bite and add some texture to the dish alongside the tender cauliflower. This is the perfect dish to serve up to friends and family for Sunday dinner and you can really show off when you tell them all that you made it from scratch. It's certainly is a crackin' cauliflower cheese!

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