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poached leek and cauliflower gratin

This bake is what you need on a cold Sunday- creamy and soft with a crunchy top- it’s marvellously comforting.

Serves 4 as a main
or 6+ as part of a spread

Cooking time: 30 mins
Prep time: 10 mins


130g olive oil (80g to poach, 50g for the roux sauce)

100ml dry cider/ dry white wine/ 90ml water+ 1 tbsp ACV and a dash of maple syrup

4 leeks- trimmed and cut into 1cm thick rounds

1 medium cauliflower- split into florets

40g GF plain flour

300ml hot vegetable stock

2 sprigs fresh thyme

280ml soy cream

200ml plant milk (oat or almond preferably)

1 tsp wholegrain mustard

3tbsp nutritional yeast

1/4 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp salt

Black pepper to taste

For the topping:

2 slices bread- coarsely torn

20g walnuts- broken

20g GF oats

1.5 tbsp olive oil

0.5 tsp salt, some black pepper


  1. Steam cauliflower florets (or boil gently in salted water) until almost cooked, remove pan from heat and steam dry the cauliflower in a colander.
  2. Heat a large, heavy based pan for which you have a lid, over a medium heat. Add 80g of the olive oil and the cider/wine/ACV water. When its bubbling away, add the sliced leeks. Stir and shake, then cover the pan with its lid.
  3. Reduce the heat and cook for 8-10 minutes until the leeks are tender. Then tip the leeks and their poaching juices into a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
  4. Make up 300ml of vegetable stock.
  5. Now for the roux sauce, return the pan to a medium heat and add the remaining 50g olive oil. When the oil is warm, stir in the flour and cook for a minute stirring well. Now gradually add the hot vegetable stock, thyme, soy cream, plant milk, and mustard. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring regularly until the sauce has thickened.
  6. Season the sauce with the nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. Then fold the cauliflower, and the juicy leeks into the pan with the sauce. Now spread this mixture out into a suitable ovenproof dish and smooth over.
  7. Preheat the oven to 180C fan. Mix and massage the topping ingredients together, then scatter this over the top of the dish.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes until golden on top and bubbling.

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