Special Cauliflower & Broccoli Cheese.
This Special Cauliflower and Broccoli Cheese is a twist on the classic version of cauliflower with cheese and actually happened by accident one evening when I had various ingredients leftover which I needed to use up. Whilst I’m sure it has been done before in variations, this is my version and even if I do say so myself, this dish is divine.
It can be served as an accompaniment to a meal as a vegetable side dish and goes really well with fish and chicken. Or you can opt for my personal favourite, and have as a lunch or supper snack served with fresh crusty bread and butter (a good comfort food meal). It can also be adapted to a healthier version by simply using low-fat cheddar cheese, low fat margarine and skimmed milk. Frozen veg can be used also for more convenience. Some people may prefer to use a packet white sauce, however I personally think homemade is much richer, thicker and tastier.
This dish can also be prepared beforehand and even frozen.
What you need (serves 4)
Half a large cauliflower (cut into florets) 1 small broccoli (cut into florets) 3 medium carrots (sliced quite thickly) 4-6 rashes of smoky bacon 1 small red onion, chopped medium 50g butter or margarine 50g plain flour 450ml milk 200g cheddar cheese (grated) 1tsp English mustard 1 tbsp olive oil Salt and Pepper (for seasoning)
Preheat the oven to 200C /400F/Gas Mark 6
In a frying pan, heat the olive oil and fry the bacon and onions until the bacon is crispy and the onions are soft and golden.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the cauliflower, broccoli and carrots for 2-3 mins (they do not want to be too soft).
In another saucepan, heat the butter or margarine slowly and gradually mix in the flour. Stir for one minute, keeping on a low heat. Gradually whisk in the milk to form a thick, white sauce (I sometimes add more flour / milk as I go along if I don’t think the consistency is right). Whilst still on a low heat, stir in half the grated cheddar cheese and add the mustard. Season with salt and pepper.
Put the cauliflower, broccoli and carrots into an ovenproof dish and sprinkle over the bacon and onions. Pour over the white sauce and sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese over the top.
Cook in the oven for approx 15 mins, until the cheese is bubbling and slightly golden on top.
Get cooking and enjoy!