Cauliflower cheese potted paté

This isn’t quite Christmas leftovers, but the dish does have a similar backstory. It began as the cauliflower and cabbage terrine recipe in Stéphane Reynaud’s book Terrine, becoming a variant when I uncharacteristically decided to ditch the cabbage, and (somewhat more on-brand) threw cheese at it.

The full recipe is at the end. I didn’t get a picture, so you’ll have to trust me that it turns out rather well – creamy and fresh with leeks and spring onion to contrast. We served it as a Christmas starter with a light mustard sauce, and folks seemed to go for it.

But what to do with the half pint or so of surplus tasty goo?

Cauliflower cheese potted paté

A potted paté, and one I’ll certainly be doing again now it’s had a few tweaks.

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Cauliflower cheese gnocchi bake

Ahh, cauliflower cheese. Few dishes more keenly evoke all that’s wrong with British food. It’s the dour culinary history of our grimy little island summed up as nursery slop. Cauliflower cheese belongs to the memory as a dull vegetable, over-boiled yet still acrid, squatting in a floury, tasteless sauce next to watery carrots and leathern beef.

It does not have to be this way. The bits are all good, and we can put them together better.

Cauliflower cheese gnocchi bake

Felicity Cloake does cauliflower cheese justice in her Guardian column rather better than I will. She’s great, incidentally, and has a couple of books out. Anyway, you save cauliflower cheese by not murdering the cauliflower, and by putting  a bit of effort in with the sauce. It’s not hard, and the result is rich and tasty.

But it’s still a slightly odd side dish, and I wanted a main. What to do?

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