Greatest recipes ever: Roasted Cauliflower Cheese

‘I didn’t used to be a fan of cauliflower cheese it was never cheesy enough for my liking, and was inevitably watery. I was, therefore, delighted to discover this delicious recipe recently. One roasts the cauliflower instead of boiling it, which concentrates all the sweet flavour. What’s more, it’s a much quicker and simpler recipe to prepare than the classic, with all the action taking place in just one dish. The topping of crème fraîche and, Dijon, Gruyère and Parmesan cheeses is wonderfully luxurious, and you can add bacon or leeks to make it an even richer supper dish’

Thomasina Miers

Quick roasted cauliflower cheese

Extract from Guy Watson and Jane Baxter’s
Riverford Farm: Recipes for Everyday and Sunday
Published by Fourth Estate

We’ve stopped boiling cauliflower in the Field Kitchen-we either roast it in the oven or braise it. It cooks very quickly in the oven, its flavour is incredible and it is a million miles away from the soggy cauliflower that many of us have bad memories of being forced to eat. This is a quick, less fussy version of the classic cauliflower cheese. It avoids the béchamel sauce, and instead uses crème fraîche to bind everything together. It tastes wonderful, and, even better, there’s very little washing up-in fact, you can mix everything in one baking dish if you like. It can be a warming side dish or a simple supper just on its own. You could add leeks or bacon.

Recommended videos for you

Serves 4-6


1 cauliflower, cut into florets
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon caster sugar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
250g crème fraîche
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
100g Gruyère cheese, grated
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
Chopped chives (optional)


Preheat the oven to 180˚C/gas mark 4. Toss the cauliflower in the oil and sugar, season well and roast on a baking tray for 20 minutes, or until just cooked, then empty into a bowl. Increase the oven temperature to 200˚C/gas mark 6.

Mix the crème fraîche with the mustard and half the Gruyère and season. Mix in
the cauliflower until coated and transfer to an ovenproof serving dish. Sprinkle with the rest of the Gruyère and the Parmesan and bake in the hot oven for 10 minutes until golden. Sprinkle with the chopped chives (if using).