whole roasted cauliflower with whipped goat cheese

August 26, 2013 § 69 Comments

Several months ago while skimming through an issue of Bon Appétit I came across this impressive whole roasted cauliflower recipe.  I knew I had to cook it and two days later while visiting our family in Idaho, we had a whole cauliflower roasting in the oven as well as goat cheese, cream cheese and feta whirling in the food processor.  I have made this wonderful roasted cauliflower twice since then and my family loves it.  It is so tender and somewhat “nutty” in flavor.

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Precooking the cauliflower in seasoned broth infuses it with flavor and roasting it creates a nice crispy edge.  This roasted cauliflower is so fork-tender and the whipped goat cheese was astounding.  Astoundingly so that I have prepared it as a dip (adding caramelized onions) for our chips, vegetables or anything else you can find to scoop it up!

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You may want to trim your cauliflower of it’s bottom leaves in order for it to sit flat in your roasting pan.  I keep them on because we enjoy eating them as well.  The recipe may seem a bit elaborate for roasting a vegetable, but it is well worth the effort and time.

EDIT: (After doing a search on the web for this recipe I have found every site “featuring” this recipe, as well as Bon Appétit Magazine, calling for 1/4 cup salt in the cooking liquid.   You may want to adjust the salt to your discretion, however, we did not find the cauliflower to be too salty using the recipe as it is listed below)  I found the cooking liquid is quite pungent and cabbage like after the cauliflower has cooked therefore, in my opinion,  it may not be suitable to save as a broth for future cooking.

Recipe exactly how it appears in Bon Appétit Magazine…

I n g r e d i e n t s

  • 2 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 head of cauliflower, leaves removed

Whipped goat cheese

  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 3 ounces feta
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream (I used half and half)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for serving
  • Coarse sea salt (for serving)

M e t h o d

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.  Bring wine, oil, kosher salt, juice, butter, red pepper flakes, sugar, bay leaf, and 8 cups water to a boil in a large pot.  Add cauliflower, reduce heat, and simmer, turning occasionally, until a knife easily inserts into center, 15-20 minutes.

Using tongs transfer cauliflower to a rimmed baking sheet, draining well.  Roast, rotating sheet halfway through, until brown all over, about 40 minutes.  Check at 30 minutes and continue to check every 5 minutes until brown as you like.

While cauliflower is roasting, blend goat cheese, cream cheese, feta, cream and 2 tablespoons oil in a food processor until smooth,  season with sea salt.  Transfer whipped goat cheese to a serving bowl and drizzle with oil.

Transfer cauliflower to a plate.  Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with sea salt.  Serve with whipped goat cheese.

Whipped goat cheese can be made 1 day ahead and covered and chilled.

Recipe courtesy of Bon Appétit.

Serves 3 as a side dish.

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