Vegetable Bake

This is a proper old school recipe I remember my mum making when I was growing up. My dad would always groan that there was no meat, but since I married a pescatarian I don’t have that problem!

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It’s a hearty, no fuss midweek dinner which everyone will like (our three year old is a big fan).  It is a meal in itself, however it makes a delicious side to roast chicken or gammon too.

You can use whatever vegetables you have to hand, but my mum recommends the following:
2 leeks
1 large potato
3 sticks celery
3 carrots
6 cauliflower florets
2 parsnips
1 cup green beans or broad beans

I also add broccoli and a couple of cloves of garlic.

Wash and chop all the veg. Fry off the leeks and garlic if you’re using it in a little olive oil. Add the rest of the veg and season with salt and pepper. Cover while you make a cheese sauce, but remember to stir regularly to prevent sticking.

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In another pan melt 2oz salted butter and stir in 2oz pain flour and a crumbled vegetable stock cube to make a roux. Cook the flour out for about 30 seconds, before pouring in 3/4 pint of milk a little at a time, stiring continually to avoid lumps. Finally add it a couple of handfuls of strong grated cheddar. Take off the heat. 

Now pour a can of chopped tomatoes over the vegetables.

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Pour the white sauce over the vegetables.

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In a blender make a crumble topping by blitzing up a handful of mixed nuts, four slices of wholemeal bread, a large handful of parsley and salt and pepper.

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Sprinkle on top of the cheese sauce.

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Bake, uncovered, at 160oC for about 45 minutes.

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