As Nigella says, “let’s hear it for beige food.” Beige food is where the comfort is at.

I was recently gifted a very handsome couple of marrows to cook with. Chutneys, curries and soups crossed my mind, but the fire was roaring, I had my wooliest socks on and actually, what I was craving was a vat of melted cheese with a suggestion of vegetables. So, here is my recipe for Squash and Kale Cheese, think classic cauliflower cheese, sans cauliflower, but replaced by two deliciously seasonal veggies of Autumn.

Marrow & Kale Cheese

Marrow & Kale Cheese

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Course: Dinner, SideCuisine: BritishDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

25

minutes

A slightly different approach to the more classic cauliflower cheese, using two seasonal stars of Autumn instead of cauliflower

Ingredients

  • 1 large marrow, around 600g

  • 150 g kale

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 50 g butter

  • 4 tbsp flour

  • 500 ml milk

  • 100 ml single cream

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard

  • 100 g strong cheddar

  • 50 g blue cheese, crumbled into small chunks

  • 2 tbsp crispy fried onions (shop-bought)

  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Directions

  • Begin by preparing the marrow and kale. Cut the marrow in half and remove the seeds – no need to remove the skin as it is edible. Cut the marrow into 1 inch chunks. Roughly chop the kale, removing and discarding only the thickest stems, keeping the smaller, tender ones.
  • Place the oil to a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the marrow chunks and fry for 5-10 minutes or until the edges have browned a little but there is still a bite to it. Season with salt. Don’t overcook it here as it will turn mushy with further baking – use your judgement as marrow’s vary quite a lot in size/ moisture content. Tip into an ovenproof dish, along with the chopped kale. Heat oven to 200C.
  • 
In a separate saucepan, melt the butter then add the flour once the butter has melted. Stir continuously until a paste forms and cook for a further couple of minutes until the mixture browns slightly.
  • Add the milk, cream, garlic and bay leaves to the roux (butter and flour paste,) and cook for 10 minutes over a low heat, or just until the sauce has thickened. Stir continuously.
  • 
Remove from the heat, then add the mustard, most of the cheddar (leave some aside for the topping,) and blue cheese and stir until melted and fully combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Pour the cheese sauce over the marrow and kale, scatter over the remaining cheese and bake for 20 mins. Add the crispy fried onions in the last 5 mins of baking. Serve with buttery, steamed greens.

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