cauliflower, cheese & leek, gnocchi gratin

Happy Saturday morning – it looks like it’s going to be another beautiful (freezing) day in Auckland – good timing for a warming, comfort food dish like this one, that I just made for Dish magazine…basically a combination of rich cauliflower with gruyere cheese, creamy leeks and soft, pillowy gnocchi, topped in crunchy breadcrumbs, it is kind of like a mad twist on mac’n’cheese 🙂 I would serve this as-is with just a bitter winter green salad on the side, but it it would also be fabulous with slow-roasted lamb and blanched green beans. In my wildest dreams I would be eating it in a gorgeous cabin in the snow, in front of a roaring fire, red wine in hand after a bracing day of skiing…haha, that would be instead of by the heater, on the couch, watching the Handmaid’s Tale on Lightbox (although, bloody hell it is really good, so maybe not such a bad alternative).

Anyhoo – so the advanced copies of Coming UnStuck are on their way and heading out to PR next week which is bloody exciting. Also in the next few weeks I will be showing you a few sneak peeks here on the blog and detailing the low down on how to buy a copy when it goes on sale on September 19th. I have to say that so far I have been over-whelmed with the positive response to the book, so let’s hope you like the look of it too! Not much else to report really, I have been enjoying the International Film Festival with my dear friend Netty, and would highly recommend Lady Macbeth, The Beguiled and Call Me By Your Name, while I found Beatriz at Dinner meh, and seemed to be one of the only people not roaring with laughter at The Party, which despite featuring Kristen Scott Thomas (who is one of my all-time favourite actresses), I found essentially, about as funny as an old Benny Hill show…On the other hand Lady Macbeth was the most starkly beautiful movie I have ever seen – I wanted to stop it every second frame to absorb what I was seeing – seriously like art in motion.
And the lovely men-folk – poor old Hoob has another rotten cold in Welly, and is working hard both at work and uni. From a motherly perspective I hate not being able to smother him in home-knitted jumpers, eucalyptus oil and lemon and honey drinks but instead annoy encourage him via Facebook to stay warm and get plenty of rest. Pog is in his regular routine of work, and now finally, having visited, I can picture him arriving home to his lovely flat, to whip up dinner and sit by the fire with Will listening to records – weirdly it makes me feel so much more connected!
Right then, stuff to do, must leave my snuggy, warm bed and get cracking. Walk today, yoga tomorrow, and in-between work to finish! Have a great weekend 🙂
2 tbsp butter
2 leeks, trimmed and sliced into 1cm rounds
1 small cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup cream
500g potato gnocchi
120g stale ciabatta or sourdough
a few sprigs of fresh thyme to garnish
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp plain flour
1 1/2 cups milk
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
a good grating of fresh nutmeg

150g gruyere cheese, grated (divided into two lots)

Heat the first lot of butter in a large, heavy based pot, add the leeks and cauliflower and season well with salt and pepper. Cook, covered for 15 minutes. Add the wine and cream and cook a further 8 minutes, uncovered. For the sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Add the flour, whisk to a paste and add half the milk, continuing to whisk. Add the remaining milk and the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Continue to whisk over the heat until the sauce is thick and smooth. Stir through half of the gruyere until smooth, then add to the cauliflower and leeks and stir to combine. Whiz the bread in a food processor with the remaining grated cheese. Preheat the oven to 200˚C and cook the potato gnocchi in boiling water according to the packet instructions. Add the gnocchi to the cauliflower mixture and pour into a deep 23cm round baking dish (or equivalent), cover with cheesy breadcrumbs and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and bubbling. Serve sprinkled with sea salt & freshly ground black pepper and a few sprigs of thyme, on it’s own, with a bitter green salad, or alongside slow-roasted lamb. Serves 4 as a main and 6 as a side.


  1. Hi I am about to prepare Cauliflower, leek etc dish and as I am just one person will be dividing to make up several servings to be frozen. So should i freeze after preparation and before cooking or freeze after cooking
    and just reheat. Have been trying to imagine results best for this, what looks like, an amazing g dish.

    1. Oh crikey, I’m so sorry I just saw this. To be honest this isn’t a dish I would normally freeze…how did you get on?!

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