Will Ottolenghi ever stop writing cookbooks?!! That’s rhetorical, of course. I certainly hope he continues, because I was enamored with the four I already owned, before I just had to buy Simple, his most recent, published in 2018. And I’m so happy I did.
I’ve already made many recipes from Simple. It’s that good. And, it doesn’t seem like a repeat of Jerusalem, Plenty and so forth. In fact, I’m not sure I spotted pomegranate seeds in Simple’s food photos!
One extremely intriguing recipe is called mustardy cauliflower cheese. I’ve seen cauliflower cheese recipes before, meh, but when Ottolenghi has one, I pay attention!
From Ottolenghi: This is the ultimate comfort dish, looking for a roast chicken, some sausages, or a pan-fried steak.
Mustardy Cauliflower Cheese
Printable recipe below
1 large cauliflower, broken into florets
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely diced
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon mustard powder
2 green chilies, seeded, finely diced
3/4 teaspoons black mustard seeds
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
4 1/4 ounces aged cheddar, coarsely grated
1/3 cup fresh white breadcrumbs
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Steam the cauliflower over boiling water for 5 minutes, until just softening. Remove and set aside to cool slightly.
Put the butter into a 9” round casserole pan or oven-proof dish and place over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 8 minutes, until soft and golden.
Add the cumin, curry powder, mustard powder and chiles and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the mustard seeds, cook for 1 minute, then pour in the cream.
Add 1 1/4 cups of cheddar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and simmer for 2-3 minutes, until the sauce slightly thickens.
Add the cauliflower, stir gently, and simmer for 1 minute before removing from the heat.
Place the remaining 1/4 cup of cheddar in a bowl and add the breadcrumbs and parsley. Mix, then sprinkle over the cauliflower.
Bake for 8 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the cauliflower is hot. Turn the broiler to high and keep the pan underneath for 4 minutes, or until the top is golden and crisp.
Keep an eye on it so that it does not burn.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little – just for 5 minutes or so – before serving.
You can imagine what this cauliflower smells like, with the cumin, mustard, and curry spices!
Roast chicken would certainly be the perfect accompaniment. Or sausages.