Mat Follas’ Four Cheese Cauliflower Cheese

A few days ago I shared my review of Mat Follas’ new cookbook, Vegetable Perfection published by Ryland Peters & Small. Click through to read more and to enter my giveaway to win your own copy of the book.

The book shares over 100 vegetarian recipes using the ‘roots, bulbs, shoots and stems’ of a wide variety of vegetables. The recipes are perfect for home cooks, created in a domestic kitchen using domestic kitchen equipment and as such, they are not only delicious but very achievable.

Pete and I have thus far made three recipes from the book, Mat’s Mushroom Toad-in-the-hole, his Homemade baked beans and the recipe I’m sharing with you today, his Four Cheese Cauliflower Cheese. We really liked all three but this one is my favourite so far.

We made half the quantity, which very generously served two.

Cauliflower Cheese from Vegetable Perfection by Mat Follas (mini)

Mat labels this recipe simply as Cauliflower Cheese, but to me that understates the sheer indulgence and tastiness of his use of four different cheeses to create a really complex and cheesy sauce, so I’m embellishing the name to suit its nature!

Mat Follas’ Four Cheese Cauliflower Cheese

Extracted from Vegetable Perfection with permission

This recipe is all about the cheese. Don’t panic if you don’t have all four cheeses, just increase the amount of cheeses you do have to the same overall weight. However, if you do have all four, the combination of their flavours and textures makes an amazing sticky lava flow of cheese that cannot be beaten.

Ingredients
2 large cauliflowers
30 g butter
30 g plain flour
500 ml whole milk
100 g grated strong Cheddar cheese
100 g grated Gruyère cheese
50 g grated Parmesan cheese
120 g sliced mozzarella cheese
1–2 teaspoons English mustard
1–2 splashes of Tabasco sauce, to season
a pinch of smoked paprika
table salt, to season
olive oil, to coat
(Optional) tomato salad, to serve

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F) Gas 3.
  • Prepare the cauliflower by trimming the leaves off, then slicing across the base in 2-cm slices, like slicing a loaf of bread. Lightly oil the cauliflower slices on both sides and season with a little salt.
  • Preheat a griddle pan over a medium heat, then cook the cauliflower slices for 2–3 minutes on each side, to just char and par-cook them. This should leave the cauliflower cooked one-third of the way through on each side.
  • Lay the slices in a casserole dish, overlapping to fit them all in.
  • To make the sauce, begin by making a roux. Put the butter and flour in a dry saucepan and set over a medium heat until the mixture forms crumbs and is just starting to colour. Slowly, add about 125 ml of milk and whisk to combine into a smooth, thick paste. With the pan still on the heat, keep adding the milk 125 ml at a time and whisk together to combine until all of the milk has been added to the sauce and it is thin and smooth.
  • Reduce to a low heat and add two-thirds of the Cheddar, Gruyère and
  • Parmesan cheeses to the sauce. Whisk gently until the sauce is smooth, then add the mozzarella cheese. Whisk until the cheese has melted and you have a smooth sauce.
  • Add a large teaspoon of mustard, a generous splash of Tabasco sauce and a pinch of salt, and whisk together. Taste the sauce and add more mustard, Tabasco sauce or salt as you like it.
  • Pour the sauce over the cauliflower, then sprinkle the remaining cheese over and finish with the smoked paprika to decorate and add a hint of smoke. At this stage, you can store the cauliflower cheese in a fridge for up to 2 days.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes (20 minutes if it has been chilled in the fridge). Check that it is cooked by probing with a fork to ensure there is no hard centre. Turn the oven up to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6 for 5 minutes to brown the cheese topping.
  • Serve 2–3 slices of cauliflower with the sauce per person with a tomato salad on the side.

 

Kavey Eats received a review copy of Vegetable Perfection from Ryland Peters & Small and was given permission to publish this extracted recipe. Vegetable Perfection by Mat Follas (photography by Steve Painter) is currently available from Amazon for £14.88 (RRP £16.99).

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37 Comments to "Mat Follas’ Four Cheese Cauliflower Cheese"

  1. Jane Willis

    I’ve never thought about making it with griddled cauli, but it sounds lovely with the richness of the sauce. A dish I could happily wallow in.

    Reply
  2. Jeanne Horak-Druiff

    OMG – I love cauliflower cheese and 4-cheese C&C seems like the perfect amalgamation of cauliflower with pizza Quattro formaggi!! ;o) Definitely bookmarking this to try – thanks 🙂

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    It’s definitely a winner. What is better than a cheese dish? A cheese dish with four different cheeses!

    Reply
  3. Claire Jessiman

    Loving this twist on the traditional Cauliflower Cheese. Definitely going to try pre-griddling my cauliflower next time and like the idea of a splash of Tabasco.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    It’s a really good recipe, the combo of cheeses gives such a rich, complex cheese flavour. So good!

    Reply
  4. Helen

    That sauce sounds utterly gorgeous! I have three out of the four cheeses in the fridge as I type, so this may well feature on our dinner table one night this week 🙂

    Reply
  5. Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy

    I think the key to a good cauliflower cheese is using different types of cheese and making sure the cheddar is strong. Oh, and mustard of course!
    Dave hates cauliflower, but he will happily eat cauliflower cheese. I guess that goes to show that everything is better when it has cheese on it.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Yes completely agree, there’s very little that can’t be improved by the addition of cheese, and if not cheese, then chances are chocolate or bacon!

    Reply
  6. Ludmilla

    I’ve been learning to eat cauliflower… It has been a slowly process … lol I had cauliflower rice couple weeks ago and I love it!! Your dish looks delicious!!

    Reply
  7. kaveyeats

    Heh heh yes that’s why I had to add that into the recipe name, it’s the killer aspect!

    Reply
  8. Stuart

    Oh Kavey, you just put me right in the mood of cauliflower cheese. I like mines with added broccoli too – is that wrong?

    Reply
  9. Sheila Yamin

    This is making me so hungry, even though I’ve just had dinner. such a wonderful combination of cheeses.

    Reply
  10. Ludmilla R.

    I’ve been learning to eat cauliflower very slowly!! I made cauliflower rice and LOVED it!! I love all the cheeses and crispiness in your dish. Looks delicious!!

    Reply
  11. Kellie@foodtoglow

    Cor, that looks delicious! I rarely rarely make caulifower cheese or mac and cheese as I find them quite cloying after a few bites. But this looks mighty fine. The touch of roasting would, I imagine, really make this quite sweet and nutty tasting. In a good way of course. 🙂

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    I can’t resist cheese, it’s one of my diet downfalls! But hey the cauliflower bit is good for me! And it’s so damn tasty!

    Reply
  12. Mim

    Oh, that looks really good!

    Would you say the book is also good for omnivores looking for interesting side dishes? I’d like to do more with veg, but my husband isn’t really one for meatless meals.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Mim, definitely so, that describes Pete and I as we are omnivores too. I’d say that when the recipes are good enough, you may not miss meat for the occasional meal as much as you think. Do click through and see the cauliflower cheese recipe which I’ve been allowed to share from the book. Give it a try and see what you think!

    Reply
  13. Peter Block

    I love working with cauliflower. So I am a big fan of the texture of this dish. The cheeses you chose are perfect and super rich and creamy.

    Reply

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