It’s National Vegetarian Week and it’s something I like to celebrate by usually trying something new. The Vegetarian Society offer some great recipes to try if you’re looking for something new or for a bit of inspiration. I’ve been vegetarian for over 25 years now and although I like to try new things, I was reminded recently why it’s good to revisit an old classic sometimes.
I had a Spanish friend, who I hadn’t seen for many years, visit London for the first time and on her list of things to do was try some typical classic British food. At the time it was the end of April, but felt more like January, so after a very cold and wet walk around Camden Market and a half pint of warm ale (which she was a bit puzzled by) we made our way to The Curtain for a Sunday roast.
It was delicious but for me the stand out dish was the cauliflower cheese, it was so tasty with a slightly crunchy and chewy cheese topping. I’ve found a recipe on the BBC which looks good and of course I always make mine with Pasture Promise free range milk.
1 medium head cauliflower, broken into large florets
40g/1½oz plain flour
400ml/14fl oz Pasture Promise free range milk
1 tsp English mustard
100g/3½oz mature cheddar cheese, grated
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.
Wash the cauliflower thoroughly and place in a large saucepan of salted water. Bring to the boil and cook for 3-5 minutes, until the cauliflower is almost tender, but still fairly firm. Tip into a colander and leave to drain.
To make the sauce, melt the butter in a medium, heavy-based pan and stir in the flour. Cook over a gentle heat for one minute. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually add the milk, a little at a time, stirring well between each addition. Return the pan to a medium heat and bring the mixture to the boil, stirring constantly. Simmer for two minutes, then remove from the heat.
Stir in the mustard and two thirds of the cheese and set aside. Arrange the cauliflower in an ovenproof baking dish. Carefully pour over the sauce, ensuring the cauliflower is completely covered. Scatter over the remaining cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top is golden-brown and bubbling.
If you’re looking for something a little more appropriate as we move into the warmer weather, then try making some summer blueberry ice cream. Looks gorgeous and tastes just as good.