I like to serve this whole cauliflower cheese – leaves and all – whenever we serve our whole pig feast at my pubs. It is even more impressive served at home with your favourite roast.
- 1 whole cauliflower, leaves attached
- 50 g butter
- 50 g ( cup) plain flour
- 700 ml full-cream milk
- 50 g (½ cup) grated parmesan
- 50 g (½ cup) grated cheddar
- To prepare the cauliflower, carefully remove the green leaves, keeping them intact. Trim the base of the cauliflower and discard.
- Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil over medium–high heat and blanch the green leaves for 1 minute. Using tongs, remove the leaves and refresh them in iced water. Set aside.
- Add the whole cauliflower to the boiling water and blanch for 4 minutes or until just cooked, then remove and set aside.
- Heat a small frying pan over medium heat and dry off the cauliflower head in the pan for 20 minutes, moving the cauliflower head around to ensure you dry all the florets. Transfer the cauliflower to a small baking dish. Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan-forced).
- To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 3–4 minutes, until the mixture looks like wet sand. Pour in all the milk at once and whisk constantly to prevent any lumps from forming. Keep stirring until the sauce starts to thicken, then bring the sauce to a simmer and continue to whisk for 5 minutes or until you have a smooth bechamel. Add the grated parmesan and cheddar and whisk until melted.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower and roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until the cheese is golden.
- Arrange the green leaves in a serving bowl and place the cheesy whole cauliflower in the middle to make it look like a whole cauliflower again.
The Commonsense Cook
by Colin Fassinidge,
Published by Plum, RRP $39.99,
Photography by Alan Benson