Friday, 26 November 2010

Cauliflower, cumin and almond bake

There are days when my larder only seems to contain left overs. This supper is essentially a middle-eastern take on cauliflower cheese, enlivened with a pinch of warming cumin and almonds.

More importantly, it's a good way of using up all the left over niblets of cheese gathering at the back of my fridge.

Serves 2

600g cauliflower
25g butter
25g plain flour
1 pint milk (560ml)and a splash of double cream
150g grated hard cheese (cheddar, gruyere, red leicester, or a mixture)
1 tbsp dijon mustard
20g breadcrumbs
a large pinch of ground cumin
30g whole, unblanched almonds, roughly crushed

1) Cut the cauliflower into large florets, then blanch until it is barely cooked and still a little firm. Place into a shallow oven dish.

2) Melt the butter in a small pan and stir in the flour over a low heat. Stirring all the time, gradually add the milk drop by drop until it is all incorporated, then add the splash of cream, the grated cheese and the mustard. Stir until smooth, then pour over the cauliflower.

3) Mix the cumin in with the breadcrumbs and scatter over the cheese sauce, then top with the crushed almonds. Place on a tray and bake at the bottom of the oven for 25-30 minutes at 375f/190c/gas mark 5 or until bubbling at the edges and the breadcrumbs are golden.

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