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Cauliflower Crumble

A robust and comforting dish, a meal in itself, it is perfect after a hard day’s gardening, and there is even   time for a shower and a drink while it is baking.
This dish balances the delicate flavour of just-cooked cauliflower with sweet, tangy tomato and a crunchy topping. It is surprisingly filling but reheats well, so don’t worry if you can’t finish it all in one sitting!


Serves 4                                                                                              Time taken 1 hour 20 minutes

cauli crumblefor the Tomato Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
700g fresh tomatoes
1- 2 heaped teaspoons paprika (depending on preference)
1 level teaspoon caraway seeds, ground
salt and pepper

for the Crumble Topping
200g plain flour
150g rolled oats
1 level teaspoon salt
ground black pepper
about 100g grated cheddar cheese
120g butter, melted

1 largish cauliflower

First make the tomato sauce. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add the chopped onion, cook gently until the onion is soft but not browned.
If you have a food mill just roughly chop the tomatoes and add to the pan with the seasonings. If you don’t, you may prefer to peel and even seed the tomatoes before adding. Continue to cook gently until the tomatoes have collapsed and softened. Taste the juice and add extra seasonings if you like. Fresh tomatoes vary a lot in flavour depending on the variety and season, if the tomatoes seem bland add some lemon juice and/or a little sugar.
Then put the whole lot through a food mill to produce a thick sauce. Or liquidise, in batches if necessary, in a food processor.

Make the crumble topping. Put the flour, oats, salt and pepper into a large bowl. Stir in the grated cheese and, stirring, add enough melted butter to make the mixture cling together in lumps.

Break the cauliflower up into small florets of even sizes so that they will all cook simultaneously. Choose a large baking dish into which the cauliflower will fit to a depth of 7-8cm. Pour over the tomato sauce and gently turn the cauliflower pieces so that they are all coated. Then sprinkle on the crumble topping to an even depth and bake in a 200°C/ Gas 6 oven for 40-45 minutes until the crumble topping is lightly browned and the cauliflower pieces are cooked. Poke through the topping with a knife to test one. If you have a fan oven you may need to reduce the temperature of the oven or the cooking time.

Serve by itself or with a green salad.