If you like cauliflower you’re going to love this luscious recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Simple. Steamed cauliflower is bathed in a curry-mustard-cream-cheese sauce and then baked and broiled. It’s a great side dish and/or satisfying vegetarian main course. Cook’s note: If you don’t want to steam the cauliflower in a steamer basket over water, place the florets on a microwave-safe plate lined with a dampened and wrung out white paper towel. Top with another damp paper towel and microwave for 3-5 minutes or until just beginning to soften.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use butter than contains only cream (no colour) and spices that don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. Cheddar can sometimes contain colour so check the ingredients. Use additive-free white bread; I used an Ace Bakery loaf.

Steam cauliflower florets

Cook onion

Add spices and chiles

Add cream and cheese

Add cauliflower to sauce and bake


1 large cauliflower, separated into 1 ½-inch (4-cm) florets

2 tbsp (30 ml) butter

1 small onion, peeled and finely diced (1 cup/250 ml)

1½ tsp (7.5 ml) cumin seeds

1 tsp (5 ml) curry powder

1 tsp (5 ml) mustard powder

2 green chiles, deseeded and finely diced

¾ tsp (3.75 ml) black mustard seeds

¾ cup + 2 tbsp (187.5 ml + 30 ml) heavy cream

4 oz (120 g) aged cheddar, coarsely grated


1/3 cup (15 g) fresh white breadcrumbs, from about half a slice

¼ cup (60 ml) parsley, finely chopped


Heat the oven to 400 F (204 C).

Steam the cauliflower over boiling water for 5 minutes, until just softening. Then remove and set aside to cool slightly.

Melt the butter in a round, 9-inch (24 cm) casserole pan on a medium heat, and sauté the onion for about 8 minutes, until soft and golden.

Add the cumin, curry and mustard powders, and chopped chile and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the mustard seeds, cook for a minute more, then stir in the cream, 100 g of cheddar and ½ tsp (2.5 ml) salt. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, until the sauce slightly thickens. Add the cauliflower, stir gently and simmer for 1 minute before removing from heat.

Place the remaining 20 g of cheddar  in a bowl and add the breadcrumbs and parsley. Mix, then sprinkle over the cauliflower. Wipe the top inside edge of the pan clean with a spatula or cloth (to avoid burning) and place in the oven. Bake for 8 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and cauliflower is hot. Turn the broiler to high and keep the pan underneath for 4 minutes, or until the top is golden and crips. Watch it so it does not burn. Remove from oven and allow to cool a little – 5 minutes or so – before serving. Serves 4.

From Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi