Cauliflower is SO good for you, but its slightly sour taste and brain-like appearance can make it extremely unappealing to children. My boys adore broccoli, indeed they eat it raw, but somehow cauliflower doesn’t quite cut it.
So what do I do to get them to eat it? Well I’ve hidden it in Macaroni Cheese VERY effectively in the past, but this time I’ve smothered it alone in creamy cheesy sauce, aka gratinated it.
I found this particular version in Delicious Magazine which is pretty simple and perfect for making ahead and whacking in the freezer. You need very few ingredients, and best of all don’t need to stand over the hob making a white sauce as the basis of the dish is a tub of mascarpone. Thumbs up from me already.
The recipe is written as if you’re going to freeze it, so i’ve rewritten it here to cover both options.
I used grainy mustard as you’ll see in the picture, but I can imagine some children finding this off-putting so I’d either use dijon or not bother if you think they’ll detect it.
The original recipe suggest Gruyere cheese, but I used my favourite Cathedral City reduced fat cheddar which manages to still be creamy and not weird and rubbery like some other lower fat versions. Just use whatever cheese your kids like best!
1 large cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 tbsp wholegrain or Dijon mustard
100g Gruyère/Cheddar/your fave hard cheese, grated
- Steam or boil the cauliflower florets for 6-8 minutes until tender and drain.
- Mix the mascarpone, mustard and three-quarters of the cheese. Gently combine the cheesy mixture with the cooked, drained cauliflower. Tip into a freezer-proof and ovenproof dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
- If freezing allow to cool completely. Cover well with cling film, then freeze. When you’re ready to use it remove from freezer and let the gratin thaw completely. Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/gas 6. Remove the film and cover the dish with foil. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and cook for a further 15-20 minutes until golden brown and piping hot.
- If NOT freezing Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/gas 6. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and piping hot.