Cauliflower cheese recipe: ‘Perfect accompaniment’ to Christmas dinner with broccoli

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Rebecca Wilson, author of a number of cookbooks including Family Comforts, shared her cauliflower cheese recipe with Express.co.uk, including broccoli.

Cauliflower cheese recipe with broccoli

“This veg-packed side dish is the perfect accompaniment to your family Sunday roast,” Rebecca said.

  • Prep 20 minutes
  • Serves 4 adults and 2 children

Ingredients

  • 50g (1¾oz) butter
  • a splash of sunflower or garlic-infused oil
  • 1 large leek
  • 1 low-salt vegetable stock cube
  • 600ml (21fl oz) milk
  • ½ large head of cauliflower
  • 1 small head of broccoli
  • 2 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 150g (5½oz) Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • freshly ground black pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 190ºC fan (210ºC/415ºF/Gas 6–7).

Set a large frying pan over a medium–high heat. Add 10g (1/3oz) of the butter, plus a splash of sunflower or garlic oil to stop the butter from burning, and allow to melt.

Meanwhile, slice the leek down the centre, keeping the root still attached and wash it well under cold running water. Shake briefly to remove excess water, then slice as thinly as you can using a large sharp knife.

Add the chopped leeks to the warmed frying pan and sauté for five minutes until soft, then decant into a small bowl and set aside.

While the leeks are cooking, crumble the stock cube into the milk and heat for two minutes in the microwave or in a separate saucepan.

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Prep the cauliflower and broccoli by cutting them into small florets. Put them in a saucepan and cover the veg with boiling water out of the kettle.

Let the water come to the boil again and cook for one minute, then turn off the heat and drain. Set aside.

Once the leeks are done, add the remaining butter to the pan, allow it to melt then stir in the cornflour and allow the flour to soak up the butter. Don’t worry if it seems a little dry right now.

Cook for a couple of minutes to cook out the flour taste, then take the pan off the heat.

With your whisk in one hand and the milk jug in another, slowly add half of the milk, a little at a time, whisking continuously to ensure that the mixture doesn’t go lumpy.

Once you have a very thick but smooth sauce, add the remaining milk, mustard and a little black pepper and stir to incorporate. Allow the sauce to bubble for a few moments until it is thick and smooth.

Once thickened, take the pan off the heat and add half of the cheese – it may split if you add the cheese when it’s too hot. Stir to melt the cheese and it will suddenly turn super silky.

Add the leek, broccoli and cauliflower to the cheese sauce and stir well. Pour into a large ovenproof dish big enough to fit it all in – the larger the dish, the more crispy bits you’ll have.

Sprinkle over the remaining cheese, the breadcrumbs and an extra little grinding of black pepper.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 35 minutes until bubbling and the cheese on top has turned deliciously golden. Serve as a main or on the side of your favourite roast.

This recipe can be kept for two days in the fridge. Reheat in the oven for 25 to 35 minutes until piping hot.

You can also freeze the dish (without the cheese sprinkled on top) and cook from frozen. Simply pop in the oven for 35 tin45 minutes, sprinkling over the cheese halfway through cooking.

Rebecca detailed the best turkey option for your table this Christmas. 

She suggests the best option is a local free-range bird from your butchers.

Family Comforts by Rebecca Wilson. DK, 16 September (£18.99)

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