Life changed once I discovered that you could make a béchamel like sauce using cauliflower.
No white flour needed and you get in all the goodness of extra veggies without even knowing it. I’ve used it in a few recipes like this Moussaka and a Vegetable lasagna thats still making it’s way into a post.
Then I came across this recipe from The Whole Pantry for Cauliflower “Cheese” and it is sheer genius as well.
Not quite a creamy béchamel, it lends itself more to actual cheese than a sauce. Now don’t get me wrong I luuuurve cheese, but I would prefer to save it for a cheese board with dried figs when celebrating than have it all the time.
Nope thats a lie I do have it all the time, but I’m trying to sub in better options where I can and this Cauliflower Cheese is a perfect example of where you can make a healthier version that is as good as the original.
Check out The Whole Pantry cookbook for more healthy and delicious recipes, not to mention Lee Baylock’s beautiful styling.
- 2 medium eggplants cut into 1.5 cm thick rounds
- sea salt
- ½ cup melted coconut oil
- Hazelnut Dukka
- ⅓ cup sesame seeds
- 1 Tbls coriander seeds
- 1 Tbls cumin seeds
- ½ cup hazelnuts, roasted and skinned
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Cauliflower "Cheese"
- 500g cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- mixed with ½ cup water
- ¼ cup unhulled tahini
- sea salt
- 2 Tbls chopped flat leaf parsley
- Tomato Sauce
- 1 Tbls coconut oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 ripe tomato, diced
- 2 cups tomato passata
- sea salt to season
- To make the dukka: Toast the sesame seeds in a dry non-stick frying pan for 3-4 minutes or until fragrant. Transfer to a large mortar bowl and set aside to cool. Add the coriander and cumin seeds to the pan and toast for 1 minutes until fragrant, then add to the mortar. Use a pestle to pound until lightly crushed, then add the hazelnuts and pound until the nuts are just broken down.
- For the cauliflower "cheese" half fill a sauce pan with water and bring to the boil over high heat. Put the cauliflower florets in a steamer basket and cook, covered, for 10 minutes or until tender.
- Transfer to a food processor and add the nutritional yeast mixture and the tahini. Process until smooth. Season with sea salt. Add the parsley and pulse until mixed through. Set aside.
- Spread the eggplant sliced in a single layer on a wire rack. Lightly sprinkle salt over the slices and leave for 10 minutes. Rinse under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
- Preheat the oven to 185C
- Meanwhile to make the tomato sauce, heat the oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden and softened. Add the garlic and tomato and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the passata and bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat. Season with salt.
- Heat the oil in a non stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add half the eggplant slices and cook for 1-2 minutes each side, or until golden. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. Repeat with the remaining eggplant.
- Place the eggplant in a large overproof dish, about 30cmx30cm, in a single layer. ( they can be overlapping if necessary to fit them in).
- Spoon over the tomato sauce, then dollop with cauliflower cheese and sprinkle with the dukka. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the cauliflower cheese is browning around the edges and the tomato sauce is bubbling.
- Serve hot with a salad.