Plant Based Cottage Pie with Leek & Cauliflower Cheese
I’ve got another seasonal recipe with the British Leek Growers’ Association. This time we have a delicious plant based cottage pie but with a leek and cauliflower cheese topping instead of mashed potato. It’s hearty comfort food and perfect for batch cooking for the week.
What’s in the recipe?
Leeks- When they’re in season they are so versatile. This time I’ve added them with the cauliflower to make a delicious topping.
Cauliflower- To make the topping I’ve gone for a creamy alternative to the usual mashed potato.
Vegan Cheese- I use Violife for this recipe as it melts really well. You can use your favourite vegan cheese for this.
Dried Herbs- My favourite dried herbs to use for the Shepard’s pie is sag and thyme.
Mushrooms- For the bulk of the base I’ve used mushrooms. I’d recommend using a mix of mushrooms for a variety of flavour and texture.
Why Cauliflower Cheese Topping?
I wanted to do a twist on the classic Cottage Pie but this time with another classic British meal – cauliflower cheese. It’s delicious, hearty and creamy, so perfect to go with the mushroom base underneath.
Cottage Pie with Leek & Cauliflower Cheese
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 carrots finely diced
- 1 red onion finely diced
- 1 red pepper finely chopped
- 350 g mushrooms finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 4 tbsp tomato purée + 150ml water
- 1 tsp tamari sub for soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- Leek & Cauliflower cheese topping:
- 1 small head cauliflower into florets
- 1 leek diced
- 2 tbsp vegan butter
- 200 ml oat/ almond milk
- 100 g vegan grated cheese
- 1 heaped tbsp cornflour
- Start by finely chopping all of the base ingredients and adding to a pan with olive oil, fry on a medium heat for around 5 minutes
- Meanwhile get a pot of water onto boil, add the cauliflower florets and leeks and allow to bubble for around 5 minutes
- In the main pan, after 5 minutes of frying add the tomato purée and water, dried herbs and tamari and leave to simmer for 5 minutes
- Drain the water from the cauliflower and leeks, leaving them in the colander, then add the other ingredients to the pot, heat and stir to create the ‘cheese’ sauce, add the cauliflower and leek back in stir through
- Preheat the oven to 180°C, pour the pan full of veggies to a baking dish, then pour the cauliflower and leek cheese topping on top, bake in the oven for around 30 minutes
- Serve with steamed greens and enjoy