Cauliflower cheese with bacon, breadcrumbs and hazelnuts

caulicheese8Nothing says winter like melted cauliflower cheese. With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, I wanted a slightly healthier alternative to the annual mac and cheese.

Don’t ask why eating a vegetable coated in gruyere and parmesan makes me feel less guilty, but in my head this dish definitely counts as one of my five a day. caulicheese5

caulicheese4Bechamel sauce is simple and takes minutes to whip up, so not only is this dish delicious but it doesn’t demand hours at the stove. Big bonus if you’re thinking of serving this for Christmas dinner.

caulicheese3Of course there’s no question about whether you scatter extra cheese over the cauliflower.

caulicheese2Cheesus, Mary and Joseph- it’s holey satisfying. 


Cauliflower Cheese with hazelnuts, bacon and breadcrumbs
A fresh take on a winter staple
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  1. 2 tablespoons butter
  2. 3 tablespoons plain flour
  3. 1 1/2 cups milk
  4. 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  5. 1/3 cup grated Gruyere
  6. 1 chopped head of white cauliflower
  7. 8 rashers of diced smoked bacon
  8. Handful of crushed blanched hazelnuts
  9. 1 cup of Panko breadcrumbs
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  2. For the bechamel cheese sauce, melt the butter in a sauce pot over medium heat, once melted add the plain flour and stir with a wooden spoon until it becomes a paste
  3. Pour 1 cup of milk over the paste and then begin whisking continuously until there are no lumps
  4. Add both cheeses into the milk mixture and whisk until they are both melted into the sauce
  5. Once the cheese sauce has thickened, pour the last 1/2 cup of milk into the sauce pot, whisk and then remove from the heat
  6. Steam the cauliflower for 6 minutes in a sauce pot filled with 4 centimetres of boiling water
  7. Once the vegetables are cooked mix them into the cheese sauce with a wooden spoon
  8. Using a fry pan, cook the bacon pieces over a high heat before adding them into the sauce
  9. Scoop the cauliflower cheese into an ovenproof dish, before scattering the hazelnuts and breadcrumbs on top
  10. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is a golden brown colour
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