cauliflower cheese


"This is creamy and cheesy, thanks to the coconut milk, miso and nutritional yeast. Of course, being a Welshman, I like to add leek as well. The herby
breadcrumbs on top add a lovely crunch." - Gaz Oakley, Avant-Garde Vegan

Cooking: 40 mins

Serves: 4




1 cauliflower, cut into florets
1 leek, sliced into 2cm (¾ inch) rounds

For the “cheese” sauce:
400ml (14fl oz) tin coconut milk
5 tbsp nutritional yeast
80g (½ cup) raw cashew nuts,
soaked in water
1 shallot
1 tbsp white miso paste
6 tbsp non-dairy milk
Juice of ½ lemon
Pinch of sea salt and pepper
1 garlic clove
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs of fresh thyme

For the herb coating:
100g (1 cup) breadcrumbs
handful of fresh parsley
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
handful of fresh sage leaves
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
3 tbsp rapeseed oil


1. First up, preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F) and heat a large saucepan of water until boiling. Add the cauliflower florets and leek slices and blanch for 3 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, put all the sauce ingredients, except the bay leaf and thyme, into a blender and blitz until smooth.

3. Lift out the cauliflower and leek with a slotted spoon into a bowl and set aside. Discard the water, place the pan back on a low heat and pour in the blended sauce. Add the bay leaf and thyme.

4. Clean out the blender and quickly blitz together the herb coating ingredients until you have fine crumbs.

5. Add the cauliflower and leek to the hot sauce, stir to combine everything, then tip the mixture into a 15 x 23cm (6 x 9in) ovenproof baking dish. Sprinkle over the herby breadcrumbs. Bake on the bottom shelf of the oven for 20 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown. Keep an eye on it – you don’t want it to burn. Serve straight away.


© Vegan Christmas: Over 70 amazing recipes for the festive season from Avant-Garde Vegan Gaz Oakley (Quadrille, £15.00) Photograhy: Simon Smith