Oh Jamie Oliver, you rarely let me down. Today is no exception. This recipe takes your standard cauliflower with cheese sauce to the next (actually, the highest) level with very little effort. Plus it involves SO MUCH VEGETABLE. A great source of good food in these final days of winter. I like to buy the flash-frozen vegetables at the supermarket, especially in the winter, because I know that they were at their freshest when they were frozen and haven’t spent days or weeks rattling around in a truck to get to me before they rot.
Start by preheating your oven to 350°F. Grab 1kg cauliflower florets (A WHOLE KILOGRAM) and dump that in a large baking dish. I used half frozen florets on the bottom …
… and half fresh ones on top.
Scoop up a decently medium-sized pot and dump in about 4 tablespoons butter and the equivalent of 2 cloves of garlic (you can peel and slice it, but I used it from a jar here and I’m not sorry). Heat that on medium until the butter is melted and the garlic is sizzling.
Sprinkle in about 4-5 tablespoons flour and stir that until it forms a gummy paste, like in the picture.
Now, drizzle in, a little bit at a time, 2 cups milk. Whisk it all the while as you add so you don’t get lumps.
Tip in 500g broccoli florets (fresh or frozen). Let those simmer away until they’re pretty much mushy.
When they’re nice and mushy, you should mash ’em. I found the potato masher didn’t quite cut it so I used my immersion blender.
Now add in like 1/2 cup grated cheddar (or any cheese of your preference). Turn down the heat a bit and let that melt.
Now pour your green creamy mixture on top of the cauliflower.
Dig the cauliflower up a little bit to make sure the sauce gets into the middle.
In a food processor, whaz together about 2 slices stale bread, 2 sprigs fresh thyme, and about 2-3 tablespoons flaked almonds and a drizzle of olive oil.
Bread crumb topping!
Sprinkle another 1/2 cup grated cheese over top of the cauliflower, then top with the bread crumb mixture.
Bake the whole thing for an hour, until the crumbs are golden and everything is bubbly. I found that it was best to cover the crumb topping with foil so it didn’t burn.