Cauliflower cheese is one of those comfort foods which most of us remember our Mum making when we were growing up. Whether you have it as a side dish to the Sunday roast or as an evening meal midweek we really enjoy it.
Celebrating British Food & Cooking
It might be a generational thing but our boys never showed any interest in cauliflower or broccoli, but the grandchildren seem to like both.
I think this recipe was popular in the UK during the 1950s and 1960s because my parent’s generation was subject to food rationing and cauliflower with a little bacon and cheese made a filling family meal.
The Cauliflower itself seems to have originated in Cyprus and was incorporated into British cooking when it was colonised. From there it found its way into the cuisines of other British colonies including India where it is a staple food.
Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, containing some of almost every vitamin and mineral that you need.
A recipe for cauliflower cheese can be found in Mrs Beetons Book of Household Management of 1861.
Other Recipes You Maybe Interested in …..
Savoury Cauliflower Cheese
For the cauliflower:
- 1 head cauliflower trimmed and broken into florets
For the savoury béchamel sauce:
- 250 g smoked streaky bacon cut into 3mm/¼in strips
- 250 g chestnut mushrooms finely sliced
- 1 onion finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic peeled and finely diced
- 25 g butter
- 50 g plain flour
- 250 ml full-fat milk
- 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
- 200 g mature cheddar cheese grated
- 55 ml double cream
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- green salad
- crusty bread
For the Cauliflower:
- Cook the cauliflower florets in a large pan of boiling water for about 10 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and set aside.
For the Savoury Bechemel Sauce
- Fry the bacon strips in a dry frying pan until coloured but not crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside, keeping the bacon fat in the pan.
- Add the onion and mushrooms to the pan of bacon fat and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown. Add the garlic and fry gently for a further minute.
- Add the butter to the pan and stir in until melted. Add the flour and stir gently until thoroughly combined. Slowly add the milk stirring constantly until smooth, then stir in the mustard powder, grated cheese and double cream. Keep stirring until the cheese has melted and the mixture is thick and creamy. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then fold in the bacon.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas 4.
- Place the cauliflower florets into an ovenproof casserole dish and pour over the cheesy sauce.
- Place into the oven for 15 minutes, or until the topping is golden-brown and bubbling.
- Spoon the cauliflower cheese onto plates and serve with a crisp green salad and crusty bread.