Mustardy cauliflower cheese by « Ottolenghi »


Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Serves: Serves 4 :

This is not Chef Ottolenghi’s first recipe on my blog and it certainly won’t be the last, I have to say that I have never been disappointed with his recipes.  All of his recipes are original and full of flavor.

Thanks to his books I discovered a new way of cooking and eating vegetables.  The proof is this « mustardy cauliflower cheese » gratin, which changes from the gratin with bechamel sauce that I used to make.

This cauliflower gratin is the ultimate comfort food, besides I like this kind of dishes that don’t take a long time to make but are so good. The recipe is from his book “Simple”, and it’s an easy and simple recipe to make and really delicious. The use of cumin seeds, mustard powder, green chili and curry give this dish an Indian touch, which I really love.

However, I advise you to use a good aged cheddar for a good result. This dish can go perfectly with a roast chicken or a good pan-fried steak.

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Mustardy cauliflower cheese by « Ottolenghi »

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Total time: 45 minutes
  • Serves: Serves 4 :

This mustardy cauliflower cheese gratin is perfect as a side dish for a roast chicken or a pan-fried steak.

Ingredients :

  • 700 g cauliflower , 1 large - broken into roughly 4cm florets
  • 30 g unsalted butter
  • 120 g onion, small - finely diced
  • 1-1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp medium curry powder
  • 1 tsp mustard , powder
  • 2 green chilli , deseeded and finely diced
  • 3/4 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 200 ml double cream
  • 120 g mature cheddar , coarsely grated
  • 15 g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 5 g fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • salt


  • 1)

    Preheat the oven to 180C fan.
    Steam the cauliflower over boiling water for 5 minutes (or more), until just softening. Remove and leave de to cool slightly.

  • 2)

    Put the butter into a 24cm round casserole pan or ovenproof dish of a similar size and place on a medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 8 minutes, until soft and golden. Add the cumin seeds, curry powder, mustard powder, and the chillies (if using) and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • 3)

    Add the mustard seeds, cook for anotherr minute, then pour in the cream. Add 100g of cheddar and salt, and simmer for 2-3 minutes, for the sauce to slightly thicken.





    Add the cauliflower, stir gently, and simmer for another minute before removing from the heat. 


  • 4)

    Place the remaining 20g of cheese in a bowl, add  breadcrumbs and parsley. Mix, then sprinkle over the cauliflower. 

  • 5)

    Wipe the top inside edge of the pan clean (with a spatula or cloth), any cream there will brun.
    Place in the oven and bake for 8 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the cauliflower is hot. Turn the grill to high and keep the pan underneath for 4 minutes, until the top is golden and crisp.
    Remove from the grill and allow to cool a little before serving with a roast chicken, some sausages or a pan-frieds steak.

    Enjoy !!

Tricks & tips :

If you don’t have the mustard powder you can replace it with 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard.  You can also use another cheese like Gruyère with Parmesan it will be good but the taste will not be the same, I personally recommend you to try this gratin with aged cheddar cheese and it’s important to use a good quality.



  • francoise

    22/04/2023 at 01:15

    What kind of ” green Chillies” Poblano, ancho?? size? anything.

    1. 4passionfood

      23/04/2023 at 08:41

      Hi Françoise,

      In this recipe Ottolenghi didn’t say what kind of green chilli to use.
      I think a jalapeños will be good. But feel free to use any other one depending on how spicy you want your dish.

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