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Whole Baked Cauliflower Cheese

Whole Baked Cauliflower Cheese

Serves pea 4 Clock icon 1 hour 15 mins
Nothing says comfort like a bubbling cauliflower cheese. We like to bake the cauliflower whole with it's leaves in tact, which go wonderfully crispy when roasted. Two types of cheese and a dollop of Dijon make the sauce wonderfully creamy, with a good scattering of pine nuts for a crunchy, nutty topping.

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Here's how you do it

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Using a thin, sharp knife, cut out the hard stalk from the cauliflower keeping as many of the leaves in tact and place the whole cauliflower a snug baking dish root side up, with any leaves that have fallen off scattered around it.
  2. Wash the leek and slice it into coins and scatter around the dish. Melt 1/2 the butter and add pour over the cauliflower, brushing to coat the cauli, leaves and leek evenly. Sprinkle with a good pinch of salt and pop in the oven for 20 minutes until beginning to brown.
  3. Meanwhile, make the sauce by adding the remaining butter to a saucepan. Heat until melted then add the flour. Stir to form a thick paste and cook for 30 seconds before adding a splash of milk. Stir to loosen the paste then continue to cook, add splashes of milk and stirring between to remove any lumps until you have a smooth sauce. Season with salt and pepper, stir in the dijon mustard.
  4. Grate both the Cheddar and Parmesan into a bowl and stir to combine. Add ¾ of the cheese to the sauce and stir, keeping the remaining cheese for the topping.
  5. Bring the cauliflower out of the oven and flip over so that the head is showing. Pour cheese sauce all over the cauliflower then sprinkle over the remaining cheddar followed by the pine nuts. Cook in the oven for a further 20 minutes until the cauliflower is cooked through and tender.
  6. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5-10 minutes before cutting into wedges and serving drizzled with the cheese sauce from the dish.


  • 1 cauliflower
  • 1 leek
  • 100g butter
  • 70g Parmesan cheese
  • 100g Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 600ml whole milk
  • a handful of pine nuts

From you larder: - 60g plain flour - Salt and pepper

Suitable for

  • Vegetarians