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cauliflower bake

Without a shadow of doubt, this delightful, vegan casserole proudly waves a five star flag for taste, texture and calorie content. Cauliflower and black garlic are a match made in heaven.



  • 1 whole cauliflower

  • 1 whole leek

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • ½ teaspoon garam masala

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • Splash of olive  oil

  • 2 packed cups of roughly chopped kale, leaves only 


For the sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil 

  • 3 tablespoons flour 

  • 400ml nut or soy milk

  • 10 fresh sage leaves (or 1 teaspoon dry sage)

  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, leaves only (or 1 teaspoon dry thyme)

  • Zest of ½ lemon

  • 40g black garlic cloves (about 20 cloves), mashed into paste

  • ⅓ teaspoon salt

  • ⅓ teaspoon white pepper


For the topping:

  • 4-5 asparagus, halved lengthwise

  • 3-4 tablespoons breadcrumbs

  • 10g black garlic cloves (about 5 cloves)

Preheat conventional oven to 200C/392F. 

Divide cauliflower to bite size pieces and place them in a large mixing bowl. Halve the leek lengthwise and clean it very well before slicing it into short, thin strips. Add them to the cauliflower bowl. 

In a small bowl mix salt, garam masala and cumin. Toss the chopped cauliflower and leek with olive oil and then with a mixture of spices. Pour it all out onto a large baking tray and bake for 20 min. 

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan make the bechamel: Place the flour and oil in the saucepan over a medium heat and mix it well to achieve a paste consistency (roux). Cook these two together until flour becomes fragrant and toasty (about 5-7 minutes). Mix it often so it cooks evenly throughout. Whisk milk into this paste until you have a smooth sauce. Bring it up to a gentle simmer for a minute and then remove from the heat. Mix in sage, thyme, lemon zest, salt, white pepper and black garlic paste and mix it all until well combined.

Remove the vegetable tray from the oven. Top the cauliflower and leeks with kale without mixing and return the tray to the oven for further 5 minutes.

Leave the oven going, remove the baking tray from the oven and transfer the vegetables into a casserole dish. Pour the sauce over. Arrange asparagus on top.

Place breadcrumbs and remaining black garlic in a small food processor and using a chopping function combine both into a rough powder. Scatter it over the dish and place it in the oven for 25 min. If you like the top to be crispy and browned grill it for further 5-6 minutes at 220C/428F.

This recipe was created for us by Justyna of Garlic Matters. For more delicious ideas please visit her blog here.





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