Make this cauliflower and manchego cheese gratin, then check out our ultimate cauliflower cheese.


  • 75g whole blanched almonds
  • 1 litre whole milk
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 75g plain flour
  • 75g salted butter, plus a few knobs
  • 200g manchego (or veggie alternative), grated
  • a good grating nutmeg
  • 6 baby cauliflowers
  • 75g stale bread, torn into chunks
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 sage leaves


  • STEP 1

    Put the almonds, milk and bay leaves into a pan and heat gently until steaming and almost bubbling. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 30 minutes.

  • STEP 2

    Strain the milk through a fine sieve into a large jug. Discard the bay leaves, and spread the almonds on kitchen paper to dry.

  • STEP 3

    Heat the plain flour and butter in a large pan and stir until melted to a smooth paste. Cook for a couple of minutes, then gradually stir in the milk until you have a smooth sauce. Keep stirring until the sauce thickens and comes to a gentle bubble. Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese. Season with the nutmeg and some salt and pepper.

  • STEP 4

    Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add 2-3 cauliflowers at a time, and boil each for 3 minutes, then drain.

  • STEP 5

    Put the almonds, bread, garlic, olive oil and sage into a food processor and pulse to make chunky crumbs.

  • STEP 6

    Space the baby cauliflowers in a deep oven tray, then pour over the manchego sauce. Scatter the nutty crumbs over and dot with a few extra knobs of butter.

  • STEP 7

    Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6, then bake the gratin on a high shelf for 20-25 minutes until the cauliflowers are tender, crumbs golden and sauce bubbling.

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