John and Lisa's Weekend Kitchen

Cheese, cauliflower and leek pie

John and Lisa have some beautiful Weekend Warmers in their kitchen today.

They start the day with their new family favourite - bacon, egg and spinach pretzels with a frothy caramel iced coffee on the side.

Next it’s Lisa’s gorgeous Provençal roast lamb - a one tray roast that’s as simple as it is delicious.

On the side, or even on its own, is a beautiful cheese, leek and cauliflower pie. And save room for something sweet, with little self-saucing butterscotch puddings to finish.

Cheese, cauliflower and leek pie

Serves 4 - 6 as a main or 8 - 10 as a side dish



2 large leeks
, sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

50g butter 

Salt and black pepper

1 heaped tsp sweet smoked paprika

1 large head cauliflower, trimmed


750ml milk

1 small onion peeled and halved

1 tsp salt 

2 tsp ground white pepper 

75g butter 

75g plain Flour 

100g Gruyère, grated 

50g extra mature cheddar, grated

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

Pie assembly

50g melted butter 

8 large sheets filo


50g Gruyère, grated 

25g extra mature cheddar, grated

50g fresh white breadcrumbs 

Large handful chopped parsley

30g crispy onions


1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/160ºC fan and grease the base and sides of a 23cms spring-form tin with butter. 


1. Pour the milk into a saucepan, add the onion, salt and pepper and bring to the boil so that the flavour of the onion infuses. Remove from the heat, take out the onion and set aside.

2. Remove the core from the cauliflower and pull it apart into large florets. Drop the cauliflower into a large pan along with the leeks, butter, garlic, paprika, and 100ml of water. Season to taste, stir well, cover with a lid and leave on a medium-high heat to steam for 5 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally. Remove from the heat and drain, reserving the liquid for the sauce.


1. Melt the butter in a separate pan, add the flour, stir and cook gently for a couple of minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk that you infused with onion earlier then simmer the sauce for 5 minutes until thickened (don’t be alarmed if it seems too thick - it has to be thick enough to not spill out of the pie when you cook it in the oven). Stir in the reserved cauliflower cooking liquid, cook for a couple of minutes then stir in the cheeses, white pepper and mustard.


1. Using one sheet of filo at a time, lay the pastry on a board, brush the top of the filo all over with the melted butter. Gently lay the sheet into the tin buttered side up, leaving some of the pastry hanging over the edge. Continue layering the pastry, placing each sheet at an angle to the previous until the bottom of the cake tin is covered with a few layers of pastry. Press the pastry into the corners of the tin then spoon in a quarter of the sauce. Give the tin a tap on the work surface to spread the sauce in an even layer then spoon in the cauliflower and leek mixture. Spoon over the remaining sauce.

2. Pull the overhanging pastry up and scrunch up around the edge of the pie, leaving the middle uncovered. For the topping, mix the cheeses with the breadcrumbs, parsley and crispy onions in a bowl then sprinkle over the centre of the pie. Sit the pie on a baking tray then bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 160ºC/140ºC fan and bake for a further 20 minutes.

3. Remove the pie from the oven and leave to stand for 20 minutes before turning out and serving.

John and Lisa's Weekend Kitchen