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Gruyère and Mustard Cauliflower Cheese

The quintessential British side dish of Cauliflower Cheese goes upscale in this sophisticated version: nutty Gruyère and peppery dry mustard combine forces to deliver a deep, earthy flavor to this soul-satisfying accompaniment to roast chicken or a grilled chop — or even just a simply dressed salad, for a vegetarian meal. This is cheesy, bubbly goodness that will convince anyone to eat their vegetables!

Gruyère and Mustard Cauliflower Cheese

1 large cauliflower, cut into small even-sized florets
Olive oil for drizzling
3 tbs. butter
3 tbs. all-purpose flour
Pinch of mustard powder
5 fl. oz. milk
5 fl. oz. light cream
2¼ oz. crumbled blue cheese or grated mature cheddar cheese (1/2 cup)
¼ cup finely chopped chives
pinch of cayenne pepper
1¼ oz. grated Gruyère cheese (1/2 cup)
2 tbs. dried breadcrumbs (we used panko)
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg

Place the cauliflower in a small roasting tin, drizzle with a little olive oil, season with a bit of salt and pepper, and pop it in the oven as it preheats to 425°F. It should take 20-30 minutes to be nicely roasted to al dente.

Meanwhile, make the sauce by melting the butter in a medium saucepan over a medium-low heat.  Once it has melted, add the flour and continue to stir with a whisk for 1 minute. Add the  mustard and remove from the heat. Slowly whisk in the milk and cream, stirring all the while until it becomes a smooth sauce. Return the pan to the heat and cook a few minutes longer then add the cheese and the chives (leaving a few behind to sprinkle on top).

Remove the cauliflower from the oven and transfer to an au gratin pan (or any ovenproof dish). Top with the cheese sauce, season lightly with salt and pepper, then sprinkle over the breadcrumbs and Gruyère cheese. Grate a little nutmeg over everything and return to the oven for an additional 20-25 minutes until the sauce is bubbly and the golden brown. Sprinkle with reserved chives and serve at once.

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