‘Oooh is it cauliflower cheese for tea then ?’
‘Umm it’s Tartiflette’
‘What’s that then?’
‘Well normally it’s made with potatoes but I’m using cauliflower. You use a lovely French cheese and make a creamy sauce….’
‘Yeah. It’s cauliflower cheese.’
This is a lower carb version of the usual Tartiflette. I would normally use celeriac but there wasn’t one to be found in three different supermarkets so I gave up and thought this might work instead. It isn’t complicated to make and is really tasty.
This should feed four people. I serve it with a green salad in a fairly sharp mustardy dressing.
You will need:
2 medium cauliflowers, leaves removed and the heads chopped into small pieces
Dash of oil
Knob if butter
300g smoked streaky bacon – the one I used had 16 thin cut slices – chopped into pieces
2 banana shallots, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
200ml dry white wine
300 ml creme fraiche
1 large Reblechon or two small, split in two to give 2 (or 4) discs.
Heat the oil and butter and fry the cauliflower pieces in batches until it is all golden brown and almost tender. As each batch is done, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on some kitchen paper.
In the same pan add the chopped bacon and stir and fry until golden and crisp. Then add the shallot and garlic and about a tablespoon of the fresh thyme leaves and continue frying for a few minutes until the shallot has softened.
Add the white wine and allow it to bubble fiercely until it has reduced and is a bit syrupy. Add the creme fraiche, turn off the heat and add the cauliflower back into the pan.
Stir everything together thoroughly then tip into a shallow casserole dish, level with the back of a spoon and place the discs of cheese rind side up on the top. Decorate with a few sprigs of fresh thyme.
Bake at 180c until the cheese has slumped and the top is crispy – about 20 minutes.
Allow to stand for 10 minutes then serve with a crisp green salad.