Cauliflower, Cheese and Leek Gnocchi Gratin

, from Issue #91. June, 2020
Photography by Josh Griggs.
Cauliflower, Cheese and Leek Gnocchi Gratin

This such a decadent dish combining some of my favourite things – perfect on its own or alongside slow-roasted lamb.

Serves: 4-6


2 tablespoons butter
2 medium leeks, trimmed, sliced into 1cm rounds
1 small cauliflower, tough stem trimmed, cut into large bite-sized florets
sea salt and ground pepper
½ cup white wine
¼ cup cream
500 grams purchased potato gnocchi
few sprigs fresh thyme, to garnish

2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons plain flour
1½ cups milk
good grating fresh nutmeg
75 grams gruyère or aged cheddar cheese, grated

Cheesy breadcrumbs
120 grams stale ciabatta or sourdough
75 grams gruyère cheese or aged cheddar, grated

Equipment: A deep 23cm round baking dish (or equivalent).


Heat the butter in a large, heavy-based pot, add the leeks and cauliflower and season well. Cook, covered for 15 minutes. Add the wine and cream and cook a further 8 minutes, uncovered. You want the cauliflower to still have a little bite, not totally soft.

Sauce: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat.

Add the flour and whisk to form a thick paste. Add half the milk, continuing to whisk. Add the remaining milk and the nutmeg and season well with salt and pepper. Continue to whisk over the heat until the sauce is thick and smooth. Stir through half of the gruyère or cheddar until smooth.

Add the sauce to the cauliflower and leeks and gently combine.

Breadcrumbs: Whizz the bread and cheese in a food processor. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 200°C

Cook the potato gnocchi in a pot of boiling water according to the packet instructions. Drain well then fold into the cauliflower mixture and pour into the baking dish. Cover with the cheesy breadcrumbs and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Serve sprinkled with sea salt and ground pepper and a few sprigs of thyme.