Cauliflower Cheese with a Crunchy Quinoa Topping

It occurred to me last weekend that I haven’t had cauliflower cheese in ages. I can’t remember the last time I even bought cauliflower let alone ate it.

Cauliflower cheese was my ultimate comfort food, along with mash potato, growing up.  My Mama practically cooked it every Sunday when we had a roast and I always had seconds.

Last weekend was the first time I really felt the cold and a  definite need for some real comfort food – cauliflower cheese really hit the spot!

I put a little twist on this great side dish by topping it with quinoa instead of breadcrumbs, adding some protein and giving it a nutty flavour.

Try it with your roast today – enjoy!


The prep. part – serves 2 people

  • 30g quinoa, rinsed
  • 90ml water
  • 400g cauliflower, trim and keep some of the outer leaves and chop up, but not too small
  • 50g leeks, finely sliced
  • 20g flour
  • 15g butter
  • 190ml of semi skimmed milk
  • 60g mature cheese, grated
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to season.

Cauliflower cheese prep

The assembling part

  • Start by preparing the quinoa, first rinsing it.
  • Then place in the pan with the cold water, onto a medium heat, and allow it to come to the boil.
  • Put the cauliflower onto boil in cold salted water.  Within 15 minutes the cauliflower should be tender.  Add the leeks to the water 5 minutes before the cauliflower is ready.
  • Drain the leeks and cauliflower and lay out in an oven proof dish and set aside.
  • Within 20 minutes the quinoa should have soaked up all the water and be cooked. Set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 200⁰C.
  • While the cauliflower and quinoa are cooking begin to prepare the roux.  Follow steps 3 – 5 under filling for my recipe for ham and leek pie.
  • Add two thirds of the cheese to the roux and stir in.
  • Season the roux and add a pinch of nutmeg.
  • Pour the roux over the cauliflower.
  • Then sprinkle the remaining cheese and the quinoa over the cauliflower and bake in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes until the topping is golden brown.

Cauliflower oven ready

Cauli in the oven

At the table

I didn’t have mine with a roast but it was just as comforting as it was all those years ago!


2 thoughts on “Cauliflower Cheese with a Crunchy Quinoa Topping

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