Members' Recipes Archive

March 2000
Bean and Cauliflower Bake
Mary Whiting

Bean and Cauliflower Bake

By: Mary Whiting

Serves: 4

WHEN invited to contribute a tasty recipe that would be especially suitable for children, I decided I could do no better than this, which I included in The Nursery Food Book. It is tasty, easy, nutritious, great for making in large quantities and a very useful vegetarian dish.

It comes from the monumental ILEA recipe collection, originally given to all London schools and colleges. This is now, I'm told, 'like gold', and any school cook who's got a copy hangs onto it for dear life. It was designed to be a fully comprehensive collection of good recipes suitable for every age of pupil, and includes vegetarian, vegan and multi-cultural dishes. Of course, some school cooks did the recipes more justice than others - a pity, because, many are really delicious. I have served this one, for example, to adult vegetarian guests who wolfed it down. Worth a try - without any mention of the dreaded words 'school dinners'! This is different.

This recipe is from Street Café Morocco (Conran Octopus 1998)

The ILEA recipe collection is now long out of print, but a few of the recipes, plus others (about 50 in all) can be found in The Nursery Food Book, available from Amazon or directly from The Food Commission, 94 White Lion Street, London N1 9PF, tel: 020-7837-2250, price £13.99 inc. postage.


650g (1½ lbs) tinned white beans
2 tbls oil for frying
2 medium-sized onions, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
120g (4 oz) grated carrot
120g (4 oz) diced celery
120g (4 oz) diced green pepper
120g (4 oz) sliced mushrooms
3-4 tinned tomatoes
2 tbls. tomato purée
1 tbl. chopped parsley
1½ tsps mixed dried herbs

600 ml (1 pint) milk
30g (1 oz) butter or sunflower margarine
30g (1 oz) flour
1 cauliflower
1¼ tsps fresh black pepper
225g (8 oz) grated cheese


  1. Slice the onion and fry in the oil for 2 minutes. Stir in the carrots and celery and cook 5 minutes.
  2. Add the mushrooms, tomatoes, green peppers, tomato purée, garlic and mixed herbs, and cook 10 minutes, then stir in the beans.
  3. Meanwhile, break the cauliflower up into small florets and cook until just done.
  4. Make the cheese sauce: whisk the butter, flour and milk all together in a saucepan over medium heat until thickened; stir and cook 2 more minutes, then stir in the black pepper and half the cheese.
  5. Spread the bean mixture in a shallow, 65 mm baking tin, or large casserole dish. Arrange the cooked cauliflorets over the mixture and cover with cheese sauce.
  6. Sprinkle on the rest of the cheese and bake at gas 6, 200 C for 35 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with potatoes to make a complete meal.
© recipe copyright 2000 Mary Whiting


Author: Mary Whiting Email:

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