Cauliflower and cheese with gnocchi, raisins and dandelion


  • Serves 6 people

  • 50 gm golden raisins or raisins
  • 50 ml Earl Grey tea
  • 200 gm cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 30 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 100 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • 25 gm salted baby capers, rinsed
  • 75 gm almonds, coarsely chopped
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped chives
  • 1 cup (loosely packed) baby dandelion leaves or baby rocket, to serve
  • To serve: thinly shaved Pecorino Romano
  • Gnocchi
  • 450 gm royal blue potatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 140 gm plain flour
  • 35 gm Pecorino Romano, finely grated
  • eggs, lightly beaten
  • For drizzling: olive oil
  • Cauliflower purée
  • 50 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • 2 golden shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 600 gm cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 750 ml (3 cups) milk
  • 80 gm goat’s curd
01   For gnocchi, cook potato in a saucepan of boiling salted water until tender (25-30 minutes), drain well and press through a potato ricer. Add flour and pecorino and gently mix to combine, add egg, stir to just combine, season to taste and knead gently to bring together (do not overwork). Divide dough into thirds and, working with a piece at a time (cover remainder to keep warm), roll on a floured surface to a 2cm-diameter cylinder, cut into 4cm pieces and place on a tray dusted with flour. Blanch gnocchi, in batches, in simmering salted water until gnocchi float for 2 minutes, refresh, drain, place on trays lined with baking paper, drizzle with a little oil and set aside.
02   For cauliflower purée, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add shallot and garlic and stir occasionally until tender (5-7 minutes). Add cauliflower, thyme and milk, bring to the simmer, then reduce heat to low and simmer until cauliflower is tender (20-25 minutes). Strain (reserve liquid; discard thyme), transfer cauliflower to a blender with 80ml reserved liquid and process to a smooth purée (add more reserved liquid if necessary; discard remainder). Add goat’s curd, stir to combine, season to taste and set aside. Gently warm over low heat before serving.
03   Soak raisins in Earl Grey tea until plump (30 minutes), drain and set aside.
04   Blanch cauliflower florets in a saucepan of boiling salted water until tender (2-3 minutes), drain, refresh and set aside.
05   Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add gnocchi and 50gm butter and cook, turning occasionally, until golden (4-6 minutes). Transfer gnocchi to a plate and keep warm. Wipe pan clean with absorbent paper, add remaining butter and heat over medium heat. Add cauliflower, stir occasionally until golden (3-4 minutes), add raisins, capers, almonds, lemon juice and chives and toss to combine.
06   Divide cauliflower purée among plates, top with gnocchi, cauliflower mixture, dandelion leaves and pecorino, season to taste and serve.
This recipe is from the April 2013 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.







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