Cauliflower, Cheese and Leek Gnocchi Gratin

. August, 2017
Photography by Sarah Tuck.
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

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons butter
2 leeks, trimmed and sliced into 1cm rounds
1 small cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
½ cup white wine
¼ cup cream
500 grams potato gnocchi
120 grams stale ciabatta or sourdough
a few sprigs of fresh thyme to garnish
sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons plain flour
1 ½ cups milk
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
a good grating of fresh nutmeg
150 grams gruyere cheese, grated (divided into two lots)

METHOD

Heat the first lot of butter in a large, heavy based pot, add the leeks and cauliflower and season well with salt and pepper.

Cook, covered for 15 minutes. Add the wine and cream and cook a further 8 minutes, uncovered. For the sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat.

Add the flour, whisk to a paste and add half the milk, continuing to whisk. Add the remaining milk and the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper.

Continue to whisk over the heat until the sauce is thick and smooth. Stir through half of the gruyere until smooth, then add to the cauliflower and leeks and stir to combine. Whiz the bread in a food processor with the remaining grated cheese. Preheat the oven to 200˚C and cook the potato gnocchi in boiling water according to the packet instructions.

Add the gnocchi to the cauliflower mixture and pour into a deep 23cm round baking dish (or equivalent), cover with cheesy breadcrumbs and bake for 15–20 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Serve sprinkled with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and a few sprigs of thyme, on it's own, with a bitter green salad, or alongside slow–roasted lamb.