CAULIFLOWER GRATIN WITH ROASTED DATES & HAZELNUT PRALINE
SERVES 4 20g butter 1 tablespoon plain flour 1 cup milk 1 cauliflower, cut into florets 12 fresh dates, pitted 1 cup caster sugar ½ cup roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped ½ cup grated cheddar
Preheat oven to 160°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Melt butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Add flour and stir until combined. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until mixture is bubbling. Remove from heat. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly, until well combined. Cook, stirring constantly, over a medium heat until mixture boils. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes or until bechamel sauce thickens. Remove from heat. Cover surface of sauce with baking paper to prevent a skin forming. Meanwhile, cook cauliflower in a large saucepan of boiling water for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and return to pan. Cover to keep warm. Tear dates into 3cm pieces and place on a prepared tray. Roast for 5 minutes or until heated through. Place sugar in a small saucepan over a medium-low heat, shaking pan occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Simmer for 5 minutes or until toffee is a rich golden colour. Remove from heat. Gradually stir in ⅔ cup water, taking care as mixture will spit, until combined. (If mixture becomes hard, stir over a medium-low heat until a golden sauce forms.) Add a pinch of sea salt flakes and stir to combine. Place hazelnuts in a shallow heatproof dish. Pour toffee sauce over hazelnuts and toss to coat. Preheat a grill on medium-high. Place cauliflower florets on remaining prepared tray. Spoon bechamel sauce over cauliflower and top with cheddar. Cook under grill for 8–10 minutes or until cheese melts and is golden brown. Transfer cauliflower to a serving platter. Add dates and hazelnuts, and spoon over toffee sauce.
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