Bronwen is interested in food, diet, and creating recipes, as she has prepared family meals and organised church and home functions.
This easy-to-prepare cauliflower cheese casserole is a great stand-by. It is quite versatile and can be used as a main dish or a side dish. It makes a useful, tasty dish that is not difficult to prepare and is usually acceptable to the children in the family as well as the adults.
The cauliflower cheese casserole can be prepared beforehand and stored in the freezer in one of two ways.
- It can be cooked without browning the cheese topping, frozen, heated when required, and the cheese browned.
- It can be stored when assembled and later cooked in the oven.
Note: It does take a while to thaw unless you do that in the microwave oven.
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Serves three to four as a main dish
- 400 g ( 14 oz.) cauliflower, broken into florets
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 100 g (4 oz) lean bacon, chopped, but not too small
- 2 tablespoons cornflour
- 2 cups skim milk
- 1 cup low-fat cheese, grated
- 2 sprigs parsley, roughly chopped
- 2 small sprigs marjoram, chopped
- white pepper
- Preheat the oven to about 370 deg. F. Even around 200 deg. C is fine, as the cheese needs to brown.
- Drop the cauliflower florets into a pot of boiling water, bring back to the boil and part cook for about five minutes. Drain and place in casserole dish.
- Mix the cornflour with a little of the milk until there are no lumps. Add the rest of the milk and set aside.
- Heat the oil in the pot, add the chopped bacon and cook for about three minutes. Add the liquid and stir while bringing it to the boil. Continue to stir until the mixture thickens.
- Drop into the mixture half the grated cheese, the chopped parsley and the marjoram. Add pepper to taste. Add salt if desired.
- Pour the mixture over the cauliflower. Top with the remaining cheese and put the casserole in the oven.
- Cook for about 20 minutes or until the cheese begins to brown. Best served hot.
- Fresh ingredients are best, so choose a tight, white cauliflower with crisp green leaves. Better still, try growing cauliflowers yourself and then you can be certain that they are organic and fresh.
- Powdered skim milk can be used. Make it up to the correct quantity.
- If possible, use your own homegrown herbs, especially if you grow organically. Pick just before preparing them for the recipe.
- Butter is delicious if substituted for the oil, but it's not always the healthy option.
- Use white pepper for lighter-coloured meals; black for darker meals.