• 1 large cauliflower, leaves removed
  • olive oil
  • a small bunch sage, chopped
  • 80g butter
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 80g plain flour
  • 800ml milk
  • (or veggie alternative) 50g parmesan, grated
  • 1 tsp english or dijon mustard
  • 5 large eggs
  • 100g kale, washed and shaken dry
  • 75g pine nuts
  • 1 tsp caster sugar, heaped
  • a generous pinch smoked paprika


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Cut the cauliflower into florets and add to a snug roasting tin in a single layer. Drizzle over 2-3 tbsp of olive oil, scatter on the sage and season, tossing to mix. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes – 1 hour, or until soft and lightly caramelised in places. Stir once or twice during cooking to make sure it roasts evenly.

  • STEP 2

    While the cauli is roasting, melt the butter with 1 tbsp olive oil in large pan. Add the onion and cook gently for 15 minutes, stirring regularly, until it’s soft. Sprinkle in the flour and stir well over the heat for a minute. Gradually pour in the milk, whisking until you have a sauce. Bring to the boil, then bubble for 5 minutes, stirring frequently until thick and creamy. Stir through the parmesan and mustard and season. Take off the heat.

  • STEP 3

    Once the cauli is roasted, cool for a few minutes, then chop into little pieces of about 1-2 cm. Leave the oven on. Beat the eggs into the cheese sauce, then gently stir through the chopped cauliflower. Pour into a buttered and lined 23cm springform cake tin and bake in the oven for about 45-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. It should be set but with a touch of wobble to the centre.

  • STEP 4

    Cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then put a large dinner plate over the top and invert it onto the plate. Release the latch on the tin and remove the baking paper, then put a serving plate over and invert once more so it’s top-side up.

  • STEP 5

    To make the garnishes, spread the kale out into a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle over 1 tbsp olive oil, tossing well to mix. Season, then bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, until crisp.

  • STEP 6

    Add the pine nuts, sugar and smoked paprika to a small frying pan and put over a medium high heat. As the sugar begins to melt, stir to coat the nuts evenly. Cook for a few minutes until golden and caramelised, then cool a little on a plate.

  • STEP 7

    Scatter the crispy kale and pine nuts over the sformato and cut into wedges to serve. It tastes great hot or at room temperature.


Janine Ratcliffe Portrait
Janine RatcliffeFood director

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