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Cauliflower cheese with leek and fennel

Take cauliflower and cheese to a new level.
Cauliflower cheese with leek and fennel in a large dish with a scoop taken out, ready to serve.

Cauliflower cheese is a family favourite to serve with a baked dinner. This version adds the subtle flavours of sautéed leek and fennel to the dish before being smothered in a luxurious cheesy white sauce. This slight elevation in flavour makes this cauliflower cheese recipe the perfect side dish to a special occasion dinner.




Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan. Grease a 2-litre (8-cup) ovenproof dish; place on an oven tray.


Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add leek, fennel and garlic; cook, stirring, over low-medium heat, for15 minutes or until very soft. Transfer mixture to dish.


Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour; stir until bubbling. Gradually whisk in milk until mixture boils and thickens. Add cheddar, mustard, half the thyme, the lemon rind, cauliflower and cream; stir to combine. Cover pan; simmer, stirring occasionally, for10 minutes or until cauliflower is almost tender.


Pour cauliflower cheese over leek mixture in dish. Sprinkle with combined parmesan and remaining thyme. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden and tender.

This recipe is best made on the day of serving.

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