Sydney all-day diner Rocker, which is co-owned by Three Blue Ducks chef Darren Robertson, is based on a simple premise: to be a spot where locals can stop in for any meal, at any time of day. This cauliflower cheese toastie hews closely to that ethos – you could eat this for breakfast, lunch, dinner or as a snack – as well as Robertson’s emphasis on making simple meals using topnotch seasonal ingredients.
“Like most of the Rocker dishes, they come about through trial and error or things we think are going to be tasty,” Robertson tells Broadsheet. “Stuart Toon and chef Ethan were the forces behind this dish. It's two of my favourite things: cauliflower cheese and a cheese toastie combined. The ultimate comfort food.”
A cut above the cauliflower cheese your mum used to make, this recipe uses three cheeses – aged cheddar, parmesan and Emmenthaler – for ultimate ooziness. Make sure you don’t skimp on the butter.
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Note: cauliflower mix will make enough for six to eight toasties.
Cauliflower cheese toastie
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
100g salted butter
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1 medium cauliflower
50g parmesan, plus extra to serve
100g aged cheddar
Sourdough (Rocker uses Iggy’s bread, from Bronte, Sydney)
Preheat your oven to 180°C. Melt half the butter in a small pan, adding a big tablespoon of mustard and a lot of pepper and salt. While the butter and mustard are melting, roughly chop the cauliflower and place in a bowl.
Add the melted butter to the cauliflower and mix until cauliflower is coated. Place on a lined baking tray and roast until golden (approx. 20 minutes).
In another bowl, grate the parmesan, aged cheddar and Emmenthaler, or dice into small cubes.
Add another good tablespoon of wholegrain mustard and a good sprinkle of black pepper.
Let the cauliflower cool, then add to cheese mix. Slice the sourdough and butter both sides. Pile a generous amount of the cauliflower cheese mix onto two slices of the bread and top each with another slice.
Place a pan on low heat, add the toastie and a knob of butter. Constantly turn the sandwich until the inside is melted and the outside is golden, roughly 5 to 10 minutes. Once it’s ready, let it sit for a minute before slicing in half. Serve with grated parmesan on top and a side of mustard.