I’ve had this idea for so long but only just got around to making it. The early stages of pregnancy were a whirlwind of wanting to eat constantly but also feeling sick whenever I tried to cook, foods like potatoes and bread got me through and I found myself leaning towards carbs and sugar. It would have been really easy to succumb to junk food at this stage but I tried my best not too! That’s how I got the idea for this dish, cauliflower and broccoli is healthy but the cheese sauce and pastry were exactly what I wanted!
It is quite simple in its flavour profile however it has a lovely tang from the tomato base which goes perfectly with the really cheesy topping.
I added broccoli because I have had a rule that if I am going to eat something naughty I must have some greenery on my plate – in fact I do try to have something green on every meal! It has become a running joke that we add broccoli to everything, we both LOVE broccoli so it’s our go to easy ‘green’ ingredient.
I think the broccoli went perfectly but of course you can just use extra cauliflower. I’ve found myself thinking about food from a family point of view, will my child eat this? How could it be adapted for fussy eaters, how can I get more veg into children friendly food?
I don’t know what it will be like but I imagine covering vegetables in cheese sauce is one way to get some vitamins into them 🙂 or is this a type of bribery I need to avoid!
I’m really proud of myself with this recipe because initially it was going to be with filo pastry but when I came to make it the filo completely fell apart. My instinct was to just go stick a film on and make it another day but then I thought, No! I know how to make pastry, its soo easy, and as a soon to be mum I need to think on my toes. So I made pastry, and it was really satisfying and very tasty!
I ate this as a sort of picnic style dish with some pickled onions and salad….I know pregnant and pickled onions! How cliche!
200g Plain Flour
100g Cold butter/ Dairy Free Spread
2-3 tbsp Cold Water
1 Head Cauliflower
1 Small Head Broccoli
1 tbspn Butter/ Dairy Free Spread
1 tbspn Plain Flour
250ml Milk/ Dairy Free Milk
1/2 Cup Nutritional Yeast
1/2 tspn English Mustard
Cheese to taste…. I added around 1/2 cup grated cheddar. Use vegan cheese if desired!
First make the pastry. Sift the flour into a bowl then add cubes of the cold butter and using your fingers rub the butter into the flour to form a breadcrumb consistency. Add the salt and the water 1 tbspn at a time and use your hands to bring the dough together.
Tip the dough onto a floured surface and knead with cold hands briefly then wrap in cling film and put in the fridge.
Roughly chop then steam the cauliflower and broccoli and put aside to cool down.
Preheat the oven to 180c.
To make the cheese sauce add the butter and flour to a pan on a medium heat and whisk while the butter melts so it becomes a paste then add the milk and continue to whisk until the flour mix disappears.
Add the nutritional yeast, turmeric, mustard and cheese and stir until the cheese has melted and the sauce has thickened. Allow to cool (it might get a skin on it but don’t worry you can stir it out).
Take your pastry out the fridge and roll it out on a floured counter into a circle approx 2-3 mm thick. Grease your pie dish and lay the pastry into the dish and press down gently with your fingers to press it into the edges of the dish. Prick the base with a fork.
Spread tomato puree over the base then tip the cooled cauliflower and broccoli in and spread it out evenly. Pour over the cheese sauce so it covers the veg then grate more cheese on the top.
Place into the oven and bake the tart for 35-40 minutes until the pastry is cooked through and the cheese is golden on top.