Wherefore art thou Romanesco? This beautiful veg is brilliant drenched in organic Cheddar alongside your favourite nut roast (as I did this weekend for an early Christmas lunch), or put it on the main stage with some leafy greens, as Abel & Cole suggest.
- 1 romanesco cauliflower
- 1 cauliflower
- 2 tbsp butter, at room temperature
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 500ml whole milk
- A 100g chunk of Cheddar
- 2 stale slices of bread
- A pinch of mixed spice or chilli powder
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- 2 large handfuls of watercress
- Pull the leaves off both the cauliflowers. Chop them into florets. Pop the cauliflower florets in a steamer basket or colander.
- Pour boiling water into a steamer or pan. Pop the basket or colander above the hot water. Cover. Steam for 15-20 mins till the cauliflower is tender. Drain and tip into an ovenproof dish. Heat your oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4.
- Mash the butter and flour together with a fork. Pour 500ml milk into a pan. Bring to the boil. Stir the milk now and then to stop it burning. Take off the heat. Slowly whisk in the flour mixture, a little at a time, till it’s all combined and smooth.
- Put the pan back on the heat. Bring to the boil. Whisk and simmer for 2 mins till the sauce is thick. Take off the heat.
- Coarsely grate the Cheddar. Stir two-thirds of it into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over the cauliflowers.
- Blitz or grate the stale bread till you have a 25g batch of breadcrumbs. Mix the breadcrumbs with a pinch of mixed spice or cayenne pepper and the remaining cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the cauliflower. Bake for 20 mins till golden and bubbling.
- While the cauliflower cheese bakes, whisk the balsamic vinegar with ½ tbsp olive oil and a little salt and pepper.
- Rinse the watercress. Pat dry with kitchen paper. Pop into a bowl. Add the balsamic dressing. Toss to mix. Serve the salad with the cauliflower cheese.
Prep: 15 mins | Cook: 35-40 mins | Makes: 4