recipeFrancesca Rangoni

Cauliflower Gratin

recipeFrancesca Rangoni
Cauliflower Gratin

A cosy autumn dish. Ok, let’s be honest, it is the classic cauliflower cheese that was served to the kids – the cheesier it was the more likely we were to eat the vegetables.

You can adapt it to be that simple cheesy dish that goes down well with a little chicken breast lightly cooked. Or you can go for the ‘gratin’ version with parmesan and the prettier Romanesco.

As I use mostly stock to flavour the bechamel, it is easy to substitute the milk for your dairy alternative (I use almond milk).


·       1kg cauliflower head
·       50g butter
·       25g buckwheat flour
·       200ml milk
·       500ml water
·       1 stock cube
·       150g grated cheese

Gratin version

·       Half a cauliflower head
·       1 Romanesco cauliflower head
(together about 1kg)
·       50g butter
·       25g buckwheat flour
·       200ml almond milk
·       500ml water
·       150g grated parmesan
·      1 stock cube


Parboil the cauliflower florets
Bring a pan of water to the boil and add the cauliflower florets. Allow to simmer for 4 minutes then drain and set aside.

Make the bechamel (white sauce)
In a jug, place the stock cube and pour on the boiled water so that the stock cube melts. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a pan and when it is liquid, add the flour and stir. When it is a doughy consistency, add a glug of milk and stir. Keep on stirring and adding liquid, gradually making sure that there are no lumps. If there are, whisk the mixture to eliminate the lumps.

When you have added all the milk, continue with the stock. Keep stirring and adding liquid until the bechamel has the consistency of double cream – a fairly thick texture that coats the spoon as you stir.

Add half the cheese to the mixture and stir.

Place in an oven dish and sprinkle with cheese
Place the cauliflower in an oven proof dish and pour over the bechamel. Mix it all round to coat the vegetables. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top and place in the oven for 20 minutes or until a lovely brown crust forms on top.