Creamy + Crunchy Cauliflower Cous Cous Gratin

This is a great vegan main course for a cold and blustery evening. The crunchy gratin topping works so well with the creamy cous cous. We served this with some honey roasted parsnips which worked really well.

Just a note on the beautiful tableware, these are by George Bronwin Ceramics. George is an incredibly talented ceramicist – for information on how to order the tableware click here. Each piece is handmade by George and unique in its own way.

I N G R E D I E N T S

1 x large cauliflower, cut into florets
200g giant cous cous (we use this one)
1 x 350g jar of Sacla vegan cheese sauce (or make your own)
3 x clove of garlic, finely sliced or crushed

Topping:
1 x cup sourdough breadcrumbs (or 3 slices roughly)
Small bunch sage
2 x spring onions
Sea salt
Black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

M E T H O D

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180c and lay the cauliflower out on a large baking tray. Drizzle a little olive oil and season well with sea salt and pepper. We also add a couple of smashed garlic cloves for extra garlicky oomph but these aren’t essential. Once the oven is hot, add the tray and roast the cauliflower for around 25-30 minutes until golden and crispy.

2. Cook the cous cous according to the instructions. We use a pan of boiling water with some vegan bouillon stock powder added. Once the cous cous is cooked, drain in a sieve and leave to one side.

3.  Add a glug of olive oil to a cookware pan like a Le Creuset or Ondine (i.e. one that can go in the oven) and over a gentle heat, fry off the garlic – be careful not to let it catch. Add the cous cous and stir to combine – I always take it off the heat for this bit as it stops the cous cous sticking. Once combined, add the cheese sauce – we used the Sacla one. If you’re making your own cheese sauce, this recipe on the Veg Space is very good and doesn’t include cashew nuts. Heat through over a gentle heat and keep stirring. Next remove the cauliflower from the oven and turn on the grill in the oven. Add the cauliflower to the cous cous. Stir to combine and remove from the heat.

4. Blitz up the breadcrumbs, sage, spring onion, salt and pepper in a little processor. If you have vegan cheese you want to add then do so now, or you can add parmesan / pecorino if it doesn’t need to be vegan. Sprinkle over the cauliflower cous cous and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil. Grill until golden and crispy. Serve straightaway, but this does reheat quite well the next day for leftovers.

We served this with honey roasted parsnips, there were also some carrots and other bits out of shot. If you avoid gluten, you could substitute the cous cous for gluten free pasta or gnocchi instead which would be just as tasty. You can also substitute other veggies in – we have made this and added Jerusalem artichokes which was absolutely delicious.