O Romanesco, Romanesco Cheese Recipe | Abel & Cole
O Romanesco, Romanesco Cheese
Clock Image
Prep: 15 mins
Cook 35-40 mins
Wherefore art thou Romanesco? A natural fractal, Romanescoes are possibly the world’s most beautiful veg (or indeed edible flower bud). Brilliant drenched in organic cheddar.
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880 kcal
(per portion)
Ingredients you'll need
Recipe Ingredients Image
  • 1 Romanesco cauliflower
  • 1 cauliflower
  • 2 tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • A 500ml bottle of whole milk
  • A 100g chunk of cheddar
  • A 50g bag of breadcrumbs
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 large handfuls of watercress
From your kitchen
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
You'll need
  • Steamer basket or colander
  • A couple of pans
  • Large ovenproof dish or two smaller ovenproof dishes
  • Bowl
Step by step this way
  • 1.

    Pull the leaves off both the cauliflowers. Chop them into florets. Pop the cauliflower florets in a steamer basket or colander. Heat your oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4.

  • 2.

    Pour a little boiling water into a pan (or steamer if you have one). Pop the basket or colander above the hot water. Cover. Steam for 15-20 mins till the cauliflowers are tender. While they cook, use a fork to mash 2 tbsp of the butter with 2 tbsp of the flour.

  • 3.

    Pour the milk into a pan. Bring to the boil. Stir the milk now and then to stop it burning. Take off the heat. Slowly whisk in the flour mixture, a little at a time, till it’s fully combined and smooth.

  • 4.

    Put the pan back on the heat. Bring to the boil. Whisk and simmer for 2 mins till the sauce is thick. Take off the heat.

  • 5.

    Coarsely grate the cheddar. Stir two-thirds of it into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Tumble the cooked caulis into a large ovenproof dish or two smaller ones. Pour over the cheese sauce.

  • 6.

    Mix the breadcrumbs with a pinch of cayenne pepper and the remaining cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the cauliflower cheese. Bake for 20 mins till golden and bubbling.

  • 7.

    While the cauliflower cheese bakes, whisk 1 tbsp of the balsamic vinegar with ½ tbsp oil and a little salt and pepper.

  • 8.

    Pick out any really thick watercress stalks. Pop the watercress into a bowl. Add the balsamic dressing. Toss to mix. Serve the watercress with the cauliflower cheese.