Loaded Cauliflower Saffron Bake

Slofoodgroup Team January 27, 2021

Cauliflower Gratin with Bacon, Saffron, and Scallions

Cauliflower bake, or cauliflower gratin, is a dish that mainly consists of baked cauliflower cooked in a homemade cheese sauce. It can be served both as a main course and as a side dish. Although the name gratin sounds French, this is believed to be a classic British dish, brought from the former British colony, Cyprus.

Plenty of other ingredients would be wonderful in this dish but we went for a classic comfort combo of bacon, cheese, and spring onions, but don't be afraid to shop out the cheese varieties, replace the bacon with an vegetarian alternative, or incorporate fresh herbs and other green vegetables. As for spices, when we hear cheese, we think nutmeg so don’t be shy about it.

 Loaded Saffron Cauliflower Bake in a Creamy Cheese Sauce

Serves: 2

Prep Time: 15‘

Cooking Time: 35’

Additional Time: 0’ 

Ingredients:
  • 1 medium head cauliflower (about 600 grams/1 1/2 pounds total), cut into bite-size florets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 125 grams/4.5 ounces bacon, cubed
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 3-4 saffron strands
  • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups grated sharp white or yellow cheddar cheese
  • 3 medium scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/356 F, fan on;
  2. Add the cauliflower florets to a baking tray, drizzle olive oil on top, and season with sea salt and black pepper; bake at 180C/356 F, fan on for 25 minutes;
  3. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a frying pan until crispy; remove the bacon from the pan and set aside; to the bacon fat add the butter and allow to melt; once melted, add the flour and cook for 2 minutes; gradually add the milk while stirring continuously to avoid creating lumps; add the nutmeg, saffron, garlic and onion powder and cook until the sauce is thickened; add half the quantity of shredded cheddar cheese as well as the grated parmesan and mix for another 2-3 minutes or until the cheese has melted; season to taste and add more salt if needed;
  4. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and sprinkle the bacon and spring onions on top; add the sauce over and sprinkle the leftover cheese; bake at 220 C/428 F for another 10-15 minutes or until golden brown;




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