An absolute classic side dish that I just couldn’t resist sharing with you, a great pairing with spring lamb. This recipe uses Swiss Gruyere cheese instead of the well known Cheddar, adding an inimitable flavor and character to the Bechamel sauce base.
Health: Cauliflower is a great source of vitamin C, needed for healing wounds, and for repairing and maintaining bones and teeth.
Preparation time: 30 Minutes Total Cooking Time: 40 minutes Serves: 2 as part of a greater meal Dish Seasonality: Winter/Spring
Ingredients (Shopping List)
- Approx. 1/2 A large farm fresh cauliflower, florets separated into manageable pieces
- 250 ml Full fat milk
- 1 Small bay leaf
- 1/4 Small onion, stuck with one clove
- 1/2 blade of mace
- 20 g Butter
- 20 g Flower
- 40 g Grated Swiss Gruyere cheese
- 1 Egg yolk mixed with 1 Tbsp. Milk
- Kosher Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 1 Tsp. Melted butter
Tips and Tricks: If cooking this within its seasonality then you should be able to pick up a very fresh cauliflower from your local green grocers. Acquire the best quality Gruyere you can buy, being a good investment as it has many other uses.
- Into a saucepan place 250 ml full fat milk, 1 small bay leaf, 1/4 small onion stuck with 1 clove and 1/2 a blade of mace. With the lid on bring the milk to a gentle boil, take off the heat and allow the flavours to infuse for at least 30 minutes. Pass the milk through sieve and reserve for later use.
- Pre-heat your oven to 200°C Fan, 220°C Conventional, Gas mark 7 or 425°F.
- Steam the florets from Approx. 1/2 large cauliflower for 5-10 minutes until just tender, keep warm in the steamer for later use.
- Melt 20 g butter over a low heat then add 20 g flower, using a sauce whisk to stir the mixture (Roux), cook without colour for approx. 5 minutes or until it begins to turn foamy.
- Gradually incorporate all the infused milk prepared earlier into this roux, stirring all the while to prevent lumps. Bring to a boil then simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- While the sauce is simmering place the steam cauliflower florets evenly in a shallow ovenproof dish.
- Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the Gruyere cheese, season the sauce with Kosher salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir Into the sauce 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 Tbsp. Milk, pour the sauce over the cauliflower evenly.
- Sprinkle with 1 Tsp. Melted butter and place in the oven to brown, Approx. 5 – 10 minutes depending on how you like it.
- Serve very hot
Tips and Tricks: If your final sauce still has lumps then pass it through a sieve before pouring over the cauliflower.