Take: 1 small cauliflower; a good sploosh of olive oil; a small handful of flour; some milk; a big handful of grated cheese; black pepper; and 1 hard-boiled egg (optional).
1. Turn the oven on to pre-heat – to about 200 C.
2. Cut the cauliflower into florets, wash it, then place in a saucepan, cover with water and set it to cook. This should take about 10 minutes or so.
3. Meanwhile warm up the oil in another saucepan, then turn the heat right down. Add the flour and mix thoroughly until it is cooked (i.e. it looks like paste), which should take about half a minute at the most.
4. Add the milk, little by little, stirring all the while, as vigourously as need be to avoid lumps. Each time you add the milk, mix it in thoroughly before adding any more. Stop adding milk once you get to the consistency of a thick sauce.
5. Add some pepper and stir in most of the grated cheese, taking the sauce off the heat altogether.
6. By now the cauliflower should be cooked. Drain the water away and put the florets into an oven-proof dish. Add pieces of chopped hard-boiled egg and pour the cheese sauce over, sprinkling the remaining grated cheese on the top.
7. Put the dish in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or so, until the cheese on top has started to go brown.
You can serve this either as an accompaniament or as a meal in itself. Baby M and I polished off the lot in one go, but it will do 4 people if you are having something else with it.
Wholemeal flour may be healthier, but it doesn’t half make the sauce look strange. I suggest using white flour if you’re fussy about such things.