It’s the beginning of the Easter holidays here, and true to form, the weather has been somewhat disappointing. Visions of letting Chloe and Callum play in the garden, long walks round the village, trips to the park, bike rides and more…. all have been put on hold due to the heavy rain and very strong winds!
When it comes to weather like this, nothing beats comforting food.
There’s quite a few recipes that spring to mind when you think of comfort food, such as lasagne, toad in the hole, or pizza, or warming soup. One that is often forgotten, but always very much enjoyed is cauliflower cheese!
With Callum’s allergies, it’s not just a simple case of making the ‘classic’ recipe, we’ve had to be clever at accommodating the dairy-free, wheat-free, gluten-free, nut-free elements, which can sometimes leave it tasting quite bland.
So, after various different attempts, I’ve come up with this lovely recipe which has become a big hit in our house!
You will need
- 1 large cauliflower, washed and cut into little florets
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 pack of unsmoked bacon lardons
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2oz (60g) dairy-free spread (such as pure or vitalite)
- 2 tbsp. gluten-free flour (such as Doves)
- 21fl oz (600ml) dairy-free milk (such as Oatly, Koko, Soya)
- 2 tbsp. dairy-free soft cheese (such as Violife,or supermarket own soya soft cheese)
- Pinch of paprika
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 180c/340f and grease a roasting tray.
In a large saucepan, add the prepared cauliflower, and pour water over the top, ensuring the cauliflower is covered. Bring to the boil and then simmer over a medium heat for 12-15 minutes until the cauliflower is soft. Drain when ready.
Meanwhile, in a frying pan, add the onion and lardons and gently fry over a medium heat until the onion has softened and the lardons are turning a golden colour. Add the crushed garlic, stir in and fry for 1 minute before removing from the heat.
In a saucepan, add the dairy-free spread and melt over a medium heat. Once melted, add the gluten-free flour, and stir until well combined. Remove from the heat, and gently add the dairy-free milk a little bit at a time, stirring continuously to ensure there are no lumps. Return to the heat and continue to stir continuously until thickened to desired consistency. Add the dairy-free ‘cheese’ and continue to stir until melted. Add the paprika, salt and pepper and stir well before removing from the heat.
Add the cauliflower to the prepared roasting tray, followed by the onion and bacon lardons mix and stir until well combined. Pour over the ‘cheese’ sauce, and give the tray a little shake to ensure the sauce has covered everything.
Place the tray in the pre-heated oven and roast for around 15 minutes until the top has started to turn a golden colour.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before serving. We chose to serve it with homemade chips and fresh crispy salad.