The Boho Baker’s Romanesco Cauliflower Cheese

Romanesco Cauliflower Cheese served in a white dish next to a spoon
  • 4 servings
  • Cook10 minutes, 30 minutes to prepare
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  • 1 romanesco cauliflower
  • 1ltr milk
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 75g butter
  • 50g plain flour
  • 100g Booths Lancahsire Tasty Cheese
  • 1 slice booths smoked back bacon chopped
  • 50g cheddar cheese
  • 80g panko breadcrumbs
  • Pinch of grated nutmeg


The Boho BakerThe Boho Baker describes herself as “Baker. Writer. Forager. Wanderer. Organic ingredient and edible floral Enthusiast. Member of the Guild of Food Writers.” Very local to our HQ in Preston, she’s kindly agreed to do a series of recipes for us, celebrating the best of our local produce. Follow her on instagram @thebohobaker.

This indulgent twist on cauliflower cheese, with its bacon fried Romanesco pine trees, thick cheese sauce and crunchy panko crumb, is the epitome of nursery food. Preparing it as a side would be doing this dish a great disservice, as it holds its own as a comforting supper dish for dark, cold nights.


  1. Slice the onion into quarters and add to a pan with the milk and bay leaf. Heat gently for five minutes, discard of the bay leaf and onion, and set the milk aside.
  2. Melt 50g of the butter in a pan and stir in the flour. Whisk together to form a paste, then add the milk a little at a time, whisking continuously until smooth. Leave to simmer on the lowest heat setting for 15-20 minutes.
  1. Whilst the sauce is simmering, chop up the Romanesco into individual florets. Boil in a pan of water for three minutes (if you like a bit of crunch), four minutes (for a regular cook), or five minutes (for something a little softer).
  1. Remove the cauliflower from the water and drain well before adding to a frying pan with 25g butter and the chopped bacon. Remove the cauliflower as soon as it caramelises and place it in your baking dish. Leave the bacon in the pan (this will take longer to cook than the Romanesco) and add the panko breadcrumbs. Continue to fry until the breadcrumbs are golden and the bacon is crisp.
  1. Grate the Lancashire cheese and stir it into the sauce. Add the cream and a light grating of nutmeg, stirring gently until well combined. Pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower and coat with a layer cheddar cheese, panko breadcrumbs and bacon. Cook under a medium grill until bubbling and bronzed.


Romanesco is easily cut into individual florets, but the large “Christmas tree” in the centre can be difficult to separate. Why not retain the shape and place in the middle of the bake for a festive twist?

This dish freezes and reheats well. Keep in an airtight container in the freezer and consume within 3 months.