Sometimes I like to serve something healthy and nearly vegetarian.
Totally vegetarian dishes in a house full of growing athletic boys creates a feeling of scarcity and hard done by.
I find bacon lardons or pancetta a fabulous addition to many dishes which otherwise could be vegetarian. If you do not eat meat please leave out.
My husband and I had served cauliflower cheese as a side dish at our wedding because we both really like it and we had both chosen it on our first meal date. Seventeen years later and he still loves my version of this simple dish adapted to allow it to be the star of the show.
Bacon lardons / pancetta
Cauliflower /Broccoli broken into spears
Spinach – I had a bag of baby spinach leaves in the fridge.
Tomatoes – I used small Vine cherry tomatoes and sliced them
Butter / Milk / Flour
Mature tasting cheese – I used cheddar – grated
Bread – 2 slices crumbed – a good use of crusts if you have some that will not be used
Firstly fry your bacon lardons using a tiny bit of butter if required until crispy.
Add butter, milk, flour and half the cheese to make a cheese sauce with the bacon in it.
Meanwhile boil some water and put cauliflower in for a few minutes until just beginning to soften. Remove, leave to drain then add the broccoli spears to the water for a couple of minutes only. Both these vegetables need some crunch left in them.
Add cauliflower and broccoli to the dish and cover with the cheese sauce.
Top the dish with the sliced tomatoes.
I crumb my bread slices and then add the grated cheese to the mixed crumbs – this mixes them really well together. Sprinkle liberally over the tomatoes.
Cook on high in the oven till the cheese sauce is bubbling and the breadcrumbs have turned golden brown.
Serve with fresh crusty bread or in this instant I served garlic bread.
It goes down a treat and if in the unlikely event there is any left over makes a great lunch dish the following day.
Everyone will have their own method of making this dish from pre-cooking the vegetables to how to create the perfect cheese sauce. How do you serve yours? As a main dish or as a side, do you add broccoli or spinach or do you keep it true to the name? We think the garlic bread compliments the meal really well but what would you like to serve with alongside the dish?
If you enjoyed this meal, check out my mumerings and comments on life by reading Tiggy Hayes.