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Broccoli, cauliflower & leek gratin

in a cheese sauce & a crispy herb topping

For the sauce, make a rue by placing a sauce pan on a medium head, adding the knob of butter and flour. Stir continuously until all is combined, now add the milk in small splashes, string it in continuously.

Add the mustard, a generous amount of cracked black pepper and the cheese in small chunks. Reduce the heat to a medium low and stir often until the cheese has all melted.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

To make the crumb topping, add the bread crumbs to a mixing bowl. Finely chop the herbs and mince the garlic, add to the mixing bowl and mix well so there are no lumps of garlic. Add a small drizzle of rapeseed oil and delicately stir through, continue to add small drizzles until all the crumbs look like they are lightly absorbed with oil.

Steam the vegetables so that they are only half cooked, with plenty of bite still, and drain.

Take a medium sized baking dish and spread the vegetables across the bottom, coat them evenly by drizzling over the cheese sauce and finally scatter the crumb topping over liberally.

Place in the oven for 30-35 minutes until the topping is golden and crispy.

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The first time I made this, it was to be a side dish, however, after trying it there was no need for anything else as there are so many flavours and textures going on in there.

A stand alone side…

Since then I have had it on its own as something warm and comforting when I did not feel like meat. Of course; for those carnivores out there, simplicity is best, a couple of no fuss fat sausages will go perfectly.

dscf4524
Exmoor, Devon
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