This Month's Recipe...
February – Cauliflower with Lancashire Cheese
From page 86 of The New English Table.
The cheese sauce for this dish is a basic that you can pour over other leafy vegetables to make a filling supper – try it with Swiss chard, Brussels sprouts, curly kale, spinach, lettuce hearts and beetroot tops.
1 large cauliflower, broken into chunks (use the leaves if they look fresh, slicing them into thin strips)
a pinch of ground mace or a few gratings of nutmeg
1 bay leaf
40g plain flour
200g Lancashire cheese, grated
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fill a large pan with water and bring it to the boil. Add a pinch of salt and the cauliflower and boil for about 7 minutes, until just tender but not soft.
Meanwhile, put the spice, milk and bay leaf into a small pan and bring to the boil. Pour into a jug and set to one side. Melt the butter in the same pan and add the flour. Mix to a paste and cook over a low heat until the paste has a sandy texture. Gradually whisk in the hot milk (having removed the bay leaf), making sure there are no lumps. Bring the sauce to the boil, stirring all the time. Add the cheese and stir once more, then remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper.
Put the cauliflower in a shallow ovenproof dish and pour the sauce over the top. Either brown it under the grill or bake for a few minutes in an oven preheated to 240°C/475°F/Gas Mark 9, until browned on top.