Pic of Beetroot & fennel cauliflower bake

Beetroot & fennel cauliflower bake

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Beetroot & fennel cauliflower bake

Starter Serves 4 1h 45 min
We couldn’t resist making our version of this beautiful recipe from the book Whole Food Cooking Every Day by Amy Chaplin. As she describes, “there is a mysterious flavour magic that happens when steamed cauliflower is whipped with pine nuts… this is pure comfort food delivered in the healthiest way”. We can confirm the magic she talks about; the velvety texture and the beautiful flavour of this topping is something we’ve never experienced before. For the filling, we decided to go for a colourful, Scandinavian inspired stew, but we encourage you to take advantage of such a versatile recipe and try it on top of many other vegetable stews. We hope this topping will be the recipe that finally makes everyone at the table enjoy eating cauliflower.

Cook's notes

This bake can also be assembled as individual portions and stored in the fridge or freezer.


For the cauliflower topping:

  • 1 large cauliflower, cut into equal size florets
  • 75g pine nuts
  • 100ml plant-based milk or water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp salt

For the filling:

  • 1 white onion, peeled & diced
  • 1 leek, washed & finely sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled & finely chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, cored & diced
  • 2 beetroots, peeled & coarsely grated
  • 1 400g tin cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 20g fresh dill, finely chopped
Image of Beetroot & fennel cauliflower bake


Prep time: 35 min
Cooking time: 1h 10 min
  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 190/Gas 5. Set up a steamer pot over a high heat. Steam the cauliflower for 10-12 minutes or until it is cooked though but not falling apart.
  • Step 2

    In a high-powered blender or food processor, combine all the cauliflower topping ingredients and blend until completely smooth and thick. You can add more plant-based milk or water if need it, but resist the urge to do it too soon and let the mix blend for few minutes first. Adjust seasoning to taste and set aside.
  • Step 3

    Heat a little olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 8-10 minutes or until translucent. Stir in the leeks, garlic, fennel and cook for 6-8 minutes until fennel has softened.
  • Step 4

    Add the beetroot and cook for 6-8 minutes more or until tender. Stir in the beans, vinegar and dill. Season to taste and remove from the heat.
  • Step 5

    Transfer the filling to a baking dish and spread out so you have an even layer. On top, spread the cauliflower topping evenly and bake for 30 minutes, or until the topping has begun to set. Turn on the grill and grill for 3-6 minutes, or until it is golden and turning brown.
  • Step 6

    Remove from the oven and allow to sit for a few minutes before serving.

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