Thursday, 21 October 2010

Green Romanesco Cauliflower Cheese

A few months back, sitting on Mathilde's comfy sofa and chatting vegetables to Carla, I bemoaned my lack of adventurousness, inventiveness and originality when it comes to cooking vegetables at home. Carla had some tasty ideas (and recommended Yotam Ottolenghi's books, which I really ought to get my hands on). Mathilde rushed out of the room and returned with a gift for me, The Farm Shop Cookbook by Christine McFadden.


Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when (almost 6 months late and only then because I chased and chased and chased) I finally received a box of Riverford vegetables and their book; this was the gift offered with a subscription to Food & Travel magazine.

In the box was a beautiful Romanesco cauliflower (also known as Romanesco broccoli) with it's vivid lime green hue and compelling naturally fractal spiral heads.

What to do with it?

I know I could have checked in the Riverford book but went instead to Mathilde's gift.

The Farm Shop Cookbook revealed a recipe for Green Cauliflower Cheese with Blue Vinny and Tomatoes. We decided to subsitute Stilton for the Blue Vinny and omitted the tomatoes and breadcrumbs.

Green Romanesco Cauliflower Cheese with Stilton and Parmesan

1 Romanesco cauliflower (ours was approximately 500 grams)
30 grams butter
2 tablespoons plain flour
300 ml milk
1/4 teaspoon English mustard
salt and pepper to taste
Approximately 100 grams Stilton (might have been more, we didn't measure)
"Some" grated Parmesan cheese


  • Cut the Romanesco into pieces, discarding the tough stalks.

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  • Microwave (or steam, as per the original instructions) until only just tender and set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  • Melt the butter over low heat.
  • Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes until very smooth.
  • Heat the milk in a separate pan until it starts to bubble, then gradually whisk it into the flour mixture.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the mustard, seasoning and Stilton.


  • Stir until the cheese has melted completely into the sauce.
  • Pour / mix the sauce with the Romanesco.


  • Grate parmesan over the top.
  • Bake for 20 minutes until golden and bubbling.

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We had this with a lovely roast rib of beef and some roast potatoes (also from the box).

Absolutely delicious and we'll definitely be making green cauliflower cheese again!


Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

oh this looks stunning... love a cauliflower cheese! Did it taste any different from regular cauliflower? Also, did you ever see the Habitat Romanesco lamp shade? fab it was!

fran39 said...

Looks utterly delicious and perfect for a frosty day. For the best blue cheese sauce ever, try it with Beenleigh Blue.

Kavey said...

Dom, the cauli tasted the same to me, but loved the switch to blue cheese in the sauce, that worked really well for me. Delicious!

Fran, not tried that one, thanks for the tip!

Sharon said...

Yummy - this looks great! I also made Romanesco cheese the other week, with cheddar and Parmesan. I really like Romanesco - I find it has a nicer texture and taste to cauliflower. Will also be having it again - may give it a go with stilton and mustard next time as it does sound so delicious.

Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours said...

I love fractal cauliflowers. I think I might roast it, then cheese it?

I am imagining it with bacon and reblochon too. Fractal tartiflette!

Liz said...

They had lime green romanescos and purple ones too in my green grocers today - 89p each - unbelievable! and grown round the corner - so this is definitely on the menu soon as is Ottolenghi's cauliflower cake...

Kavey said...

Sharon, yes I liked the texture too, it was firmer, though that could just be down to it being young and freshly picked? Shall have it again, for sure.

Helen, ooooh yes fractal tartiflette - ace!

Liz, oooh purple ones. Do take some photos?

Lisa said...

The purple cauliflowers tend to leach their colour out so steaming is the best way. Or, ooh, deep frying in pakora batter. *dreams a bit*

My pa in law calls the romanesco pert. Because it is. *grin* Lovely stuff.

Kavey said...

Ha, pert!

azelias kitchen said...

Just reading what Lisa said about deep-frying in pakora batter would be a good way for me too, but then Kavey smothering it with lovely cheese..well who can resist that?

I think they have a great colour too, great pairing with purple broccoli don't you think? The lime and purple...

Kavey said...

Hmmm well you try the cauli cheese and I'll try pakoras next time!

catty said...

that is a GORGEOUS cauliflower... and I would not in a million years know what to do with it either!!

Kavey said...

Catty, isn't it sooo pretty!

Am still thinking about pakoras too!

Lisa said...

Pakoras have a way of entering the brain and then sitting there, prodding you, until you give in and make some.

Now I'm thinking of roasted pert. Or roasted purple cauliflower!

Chiara said...

I tried this and it was delicious. Thank you for posting!

Sarah, Maison Cupcake said...

That's a very glam cauliflower cheese, I will look out for a Romanesco to try it.

Kavey said...

Chiara, so glad you liked it!

Sarah, let me know what you think!