One of the best ways to cook is to take produce that is in season and prepare it simply. These days we expect to eat apples year round and then are surprised that kids don’t like fruit when you give them an apple in Spring, well you wouldn’t taste good after nine months in cold storage either!
Every Saturday morning for three years we have headed to our local markets to pick up our fresh produce for the week. Honestly, I can attribute a good portion of our weight loss to those markets. It’s much easier to avoid chocolate when you have a sweet, crisp apple (in late Summer) at hand, or a blushing persimmon in Autumn, or heavenly mangoes in Summer. Today we braved the rain and filled one and a half trolleys with fresh produce (yes, that is seriously the amount of fruit and vegetables we eat each week) plus I picked up some free-range bacon for an upcoming recipe, Lentils with Bacon and Sage. I came across a big crate of fresh, cheap cauliflowers and immediately had a craving for warm, creamy cauliflower bake. Fresh produce simply prepared, yum!
Cauliflower Blue Cheese Bake
serves 4 (main meal) or 8 as a side dish, 20 minutes plus 30 minutes baking
1 medium head of cauliflower
100g of blue cheese (if you don’t like blue cheese, use another cheese)
2 and ½ cups of milk
4 heaped tsp of cornflower
Salt and pepper
50 gms of breadcrumbs
Cut your cauliflower into bite-sized pieces, the stalk can be eaten too, just make the pieces smaller so they cook evenly with the florets. Microwave the cauliflower for 6 minutes on high until just cooked, but still holding together well.
Heat 2 cups of milk in a saucepan with the blue cheese, whisk until the cheese is melted through. Mix the remaining milk with the cornflour making sure there are no flour lumps, then mix this into the heated milk. Stir until the sauce starts to thicken. You could make a conventional roux and add the milk to make a white sauce, but given the fat in the cheese I chose to avoid the extra butter and use cornflour to thicken.
We happily eat this as our main dish and just eat lots of it! But it would be a good side dish too.
The cauliflower bake was served with a sweet variety of onion that was roasted with butter, salt and pepper, another example of seeing a producing and serving it in a way that enhances its natural features. This was one heck of a delicious lunch on a rainy day, it was absolutely worth the trip to the markets in the rain for a warm, gooey plate of cauliflower blue cheese.