Monday, March 12, 2012

Meatless Monday - cheesy cauliflower and broccoli bake

Is it just me or is cauliflower really, really expensive? I sort of don't want to pay an average of $3 for a half a head at the supermarket. I really, really love a cheesy cauliflower bake but rarely buy it because I can't justify the price!

Recently I got a half-head the size of a tennis ball* in a box of mixed fruit and veg, so I decided to make my old favourite. This, cauliflower soup and roasted cauliflower are the only ways I'm interested in eating it, so I was excited to have it again. The only problem was I had to mix it with broccoli to get enough for one baking dish, but as far as problems go, that's a pretty good one.

I had a collection of bread ends floating about in my freezer in case I ever needed to make breadcrumbs in an emergency one day, and so far that has been pretty much never. I toasted them because I didn't have the time to leave them dry overnight, and figured it was easier and faster than putting them in the oven. I thought a crunchy half-rye half-wholegrain topping would be a nice addition, and if anyone in the family needed a boost in the fibre department... well suffer no more! If anything, it was a good cheese-holder.

Soak in the lovely photograph (well, what you can actually see of the cauliflower anyway... it's like playing "Where's Wally?"), because it'll probably be a while til you see it again!

Serves 4 as a side dish.

half head cauliflower, broken into florets
1 medium head broccoli, broken into florets
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespons milk
2 cups milk
1 bay leaf
1 smidge of grated nutmeg
1 handful grated cheese
salt and pepper
about 6 slices of dry bread, whizzed in food processor
a mix of cheddar and parmesan for the topping


1. Steam florets for 3-4 minutes until soft.

2. Make a bechamel sauce by melting the butter over medium heat and adding flour. Stir 1 minute.

3. Pour in the milk, add the bay leaf and nutmeg, and whisk until mixture comes to the boil and thickens. Everyone has their own way of doing this, but I get impatient having it on super-low and I've never had a lumpy sauce in my life. It's up high, I dump the cold milk in all at once and whisk my life away. But if living dangerously ain't your thing, take it slow.

4. Add salt, pepper and cheese. Remove bay leaf.

5. Drain florets and place in baking dish. Pour sauce over and stir to mix. Scatter breadcrumbs and then cheese over and bake 20 mins in a 180C oven.

6. If you like the top extra brown and crispy, put under a very hot grill for 5 mins or so. Keep an eye on it!

Linky bitz...
♥ The linky will be up at 9am every Monday morning, and will stay up until the following Sunday. It doesn't matter if you eat your meal on a day other than Monday - it's just an easy day to create the link!

 Grab the Meatless Monday button above and put it in your post, and even on your sidebar if you're feeling generous.

 Visit at least one other blogger and leave some love. This is so much more cool if we're in it together!

Where it says "Name", you might like to add the name of your dish instead or as well.

*slight exaggeration. Not much.


  1. Even sorta kinda good for you!

  2. I got all excited when I found big, beautiful locally grown cauli's at a F&V shop for $1.99 last week, needless to say I grabbed one...I think it's destined to become soup although I have been contemplating making it into a salad...our oven isn't working otherwise it would have been cheesy caulifower here tonight!

  3. Do I dare try to sneak cauliflower into another meal my rebellious tweens are complaining about too many vegetables? I think I will. Nice recipe.

  4. Kyrstie @ A Fresh LegacyMarch 13, 2012 11:38 AM

    I must admit I am not a fan of cauliflower so I don't have a great collection of recipes up my sleeve for it. Mr Fresh and my boys love it though so thanks for the recipe and opportunity to link up to your gorgeous site.

  5. Was planning on making this to go with dinner tonight and my local Woolies had no cauli, damn! Looks like it's just cheesy broc instead. I knew I should have gone to the f&v shop!

  6. Oh they'll love this one for sure!

  7. I loved your photo! Maybe cauliflower was cheap for once and everyone bought it haha xo