A delicious combination of vegetables folded in a creamy sauce and sprinkled with parmesan makes Three Cheese Vegetable Bake a perfect accompaniment for roasts, sausages or just eat on its own. Yes this has been eaten on its own many times in my home...it actually is devoured long before the meal it is supposed to accompany is prepared, so be warned if you have a family like mine then I suggest you either hide it in the microwave until you are ready to serve or make just before serving.?
You know how I really love versatility in a recipe, well this recipe definitely does not disappoint.
- You don't have to stick to just one combination of vegetables, I mean you can use any combo of vegetables you desire.
- Choose between frozen or fresh vegetables
- Serve as an accompaniment or meal on its own
- Glam it up with different cheese and crumbs or keep it simple just topped with melted golden cheese.
Whichever way you choose to prepare this dish, it will always be delicious.
Our favourite combination of vegetables for this Three Cheese Vegetable Gratin is cauliflower, broccoli, carrots baby marrow and large cubes of butternut. I have made this dish so many times and have either used fresh or frozen vegetables, just depending on which I had at the time. And it always turned out great. So just be free with this recipe and use what you have.
To cut down on the cooking time, I prefer to steam the vegetables before folding it in the sauce and baking it, in fact the only reason that I put it into the oven, is to melt and crisp up the cheese. The vegetables are already cooked so there is no cooking time in the oven.
Three cheese sauce
Now lets talk about the sauce, the component that adds the YUM to this dish.
This is a basic bechamel or white sauce to which cheese, pepper, nutmeg and if you like, some per peri is added. In this sauce, I used three of my favourite cheeses, Cheddar, Mozzarella and parmesan. These three cheeses make the sun shine out of this sauce, it is magical. You could top it with crumbs,before putting it into the oven, but I prefer the delicious ,golden melted cheese topping.
So remember, when this comes out of the oven.... be good and share equally amongst all those gathered around the oven waiting for the oven timer to chime. Those who are not present in the kitchen at that time.... well hey it's not your problem that they did not hear timer ring.... right??
Three Cheese Vegetable Bake
- 4 cups / 600g of frozen or assorted vegetables cut into large chunks a good selection is cauliflower, carrots, broccolli, butternut, baby marrow
- 250 ml / 1 cup water
- 3 Tablespoons / 60g butter or margarine
- ¼ cup / 30g plain / cake / all purpose flour
- 2 cups / 500 ml milk
- ¼ teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup / 113g / 4oz grated cheddar cheese
- ½ cup / 56 g / grated mozzarella cheese
- 2 Tablepoons / 10 g grated parmesan
- ½ teaspoon peri peri spice optional
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder optional
- Steam the vegetables in salted water. Cook for about 5 to 10 minutes until cooked but slightly firm
- Make the cheese sauce by melting butter in a pot over medium heat. Stir in flour,nutmeg and garlic powder . Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until bubbling. Remove from heat. Gradually stir in milk. Return to heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until mixture boils and thickens slightly. Remove from heat.
- Stir in just ½ of each of the cheeses meaning use ½ cup cheddar cheese, ¼ cup / mozzarella cheese 1 Tablespoon parmesan .
- Season with salt and pepper and peri peri if using.
- Drain the steamed vegetables in a colander and place in a lightly buttered ovenproof dish.
- Fold in the cheese sauce and top with the remaining half of cheese.
- Bake in the oven at 356°F / 180°C for about 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Serve warm