Cauliflower and Leek bake.
Pre heat the oven to 180*
Cut the cauliflower into small bite size florets, lay them on a baking tray and cover with spray oil. Season with salt pepper and add dried thyme.
Pop onto the middle shelf and bake for about 15-20mins or till they start to char. Give them a little shuffle after 10 mins. Once done leave to one side.
Top, tail and slice your leeks lengthways.
Rinse under a tap to get any grit out from the crevices. I sound like Goldilocks now but I didn’t want the leeks in circle slices, nor did I want finely diced. I want the leeks to have a presence as a main ingredient rather than an accompanying side so chopped into just right size! See photo.
Pour enough rapeseed oil to cover the base of your sauté pan and add knob of butter, once melted add the perfectly sized leeks.
Season with salt and pepper then add thyme, chilli and a few cloves of chopped garlic, please determine your own amounts of each of those ingredients based on the quantity your preparing and the taste buds around your table, I would say it’s easier to add spice later in the form of a hot sauce on the table that it is to add garlic or thyme.
Cook gently on a medium heat in the pan for a good 15mins.
Remove the leeks from the pan, leaving as much oil in the pan as you can. There wasn’t a lot of oil in mine but I want to use what is there was to start the cheese sauce. Leave the leeks to one side.
Back to the sauté pan to make the cheese sauce.
– 2oz of butter and 2oz flour is generally a good ratio to add 1/2 pint of milk to form a thick pouring sauce. Work the measurements up if you have more bottoms at your table and require more.
– In goes a bit more butter, once melted, add an equal amount of plain flour and mix till a biscuit coloured paste or a roux is formed. Cook this for 1 min on a low heat then remove from the heat.
– Add enough milk to just cover the base of the pan only, mix with a wooden spoon till the paste is looser then take a whisk and whisk till the milk starts to absorb into the paste.
– Continue to add a little milk at a time and whisk till absorbed with no lumps before you add the next lot.
– Put back onto a low heat and take your time with this till you have the quantity and consistency you want.
– Continue to cook on a low heat for a good 5-10 mins.
– Add some grated cheese, (don’t be shy with it) then season to taste. I like a thicker sauce consistency somewhere between yoghurt and mayo.
Taa daaaar you are ready to assemble.
– Grab your ovenproof dish and start with a base layer of cheese sauce, top with leeks then add your roasted cauliflower and cover with the cheese sauce.
– Sprinkle with a little more cheese if you like or perhaps some breadcrumbs for a bit of texture.
– You could add some more chilli flakes if you want a bit of heat or perhaps some nutmeg or a sprinkle of paprika choice is yours.
– Pop in the oven to finish 15-20 mins till hot hot hot.
Not gonna lie, bloomin delish! This dish went down a real treat in our household, it is one we will definitely see on a future Fill Your Fridge menu! If you would like more information on our Fill Your Fridge evening meals menu, sign up to our weekly newsletter here.
Let us know below how your recipe turned out.
Shannon and Liz