Prep, assemble and freeze this meat-free dish in advance for busy days when you need an easy family meal – simply defrost in the fridge overnight, then bake
- Serves: 6 persons
- 1celeriac, peeled and cut into cubes (about 950g)
- 1cauliflower, broken into florets, stem finely chopped, leaves reserved
- 3garlic cloves, unpeeled and bashed
- 2tsp maple syrup
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 2leeks, halved and finely sliced
- 350g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
- small handful of thyme sprigs
- 200ml dry white wine
- 50g unsalted butter
- 50g plain flour
- 700ml whole milk
- 100g extra-mature cheddar, grated
- 100g sourdough, blitzed to breadcrumbs
Step 1Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Toss the celeriac, cauliflower florets and stems, the garlic and maple syrup with 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a roasting tin, and season well. Roast for 30-35 mins until the veg is caramelised. Remove from the oven, fish out the roasted garlic cloves, then mash them on a chopping board with a fork and set aside. Tip the rest of the roasted veg mixture into a baking dish.
Step 2Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan over a medium-low heat and cook the leeks, mushrooms and thyme sprigs for 10-15 mins until the veg has softened. Turn up the heat slightly for 5 mins to caramelise the mushrooms and leeks, then carefully pour in the white wine.
Step 3Cook until the wine has almost completely reduced. Stir in the butter and, when it begins to foam, add the flour. Cook for a few minutes, stirring. Gradually pour in the milk, stirring well after each addition. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 5 mins, stirring often until thickened. Remove from the heat, add the mashed roasted garlic and the cheddar, and stir until the cheese has melted. Season well. Roughly chop the cauliflower leaves and stir these through the sauce.
Step 4Pour the cheese sauce into the baking dish with the roasted veg, and stir to combine. Sprinkle over the sourdough crumbs, then return to the oven for 15-20 mins, or until the top is golden and the sauce is bubbling at the edges. Serve alongside roast chicken, or as a main with a green salad on the side. To freeze, leave to cool completely in the dish, wrap well and freeze for up to three months. Defrost completely in the fridge overnight, then bake as directed.