One of my most favourite of all vegetables is the humble cauliflower. I just can't get enough of it. If you have a cauliflower in the house, you have a wonderful meal, just waiting to be cooked . . .
Roasted, boiled, steamed or raw . . . there is no end to the ways you can prepare it. I love it in soups, or roasted until it is tender and slightly caramelized at the edges . . .
Laying beneath a rich and cheesy sauce, cauliflower cheese has to be my absolute favourite of all vegetable dishes . . . that is . . . until I discovered this little gem.
Cauliflower . . . humble no more.
Imagine crispy tender cauliflower, laying on a bed of toasted ciabatta, gently flavoured with garlic, beneath a soft cover of cheesey rarebit and then tucked under the broiler until bubbling and browned. Yes, this is heaven, pure and simple heaven.
8 thick slices of ciabatta
1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and cut in half
1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
(about 2 pounds)
1 cup grated gruyere cheese
1 cup grated strong cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated red Leicester cheese
1 TBS Dijon mustard
2 large eggs, beaten
2 TBS beer
4 TBS cream
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Pre-heat the broiler. (Grill) Place the slices of ciabatta onto a rack and then lightly toast them under the grill on both sides. Remove from the grill and rub the cut side of the garlic over one side of each slice of bread. Set aside.
Bring a saucepan of slightly salted water to the boil and drop in the cauliflower florets. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until it is tender when you prod it with a knife. Drain very well.
Mix the cheeses, mustard, eggs, beer and cream together in a bowl.
Put the toasted ciabatta pieces onto a baking tray. Arrange some of the cauliflower on top of each one. Divide the cheese mixture amongst the pieces of toast, making sure you cover all of the cauliflower.
Place under the grill and toast them until they are golden brown and bubbling. Let sit for about 5 minutes before removing to hot plates to serve. Season with some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.