Who would think that a whole roasted cauliflower could become the focal point of a meal? Well, anyone that’s tried this glorious golden crown of goodness would understand!
Having a whole cauliflower at my disposal usually means cauliflower steaks in my house, but I felt the urge to try something new. A popular “Israeli type” restaurant here in Denver serves a whole roasted cauliflower that is quite popular and since I own their cookbook I thought I would give it try.
Manservant, when he saw the cookbook opened to cauliflower, moaned that he was really just hoping for potato salad to go with his turkey sliders. What can I say? I try to get the man to eat his vegetables! But being the nice person that I am and one that he shares close quarters with, I made potato salad, too!
This whole roasted cauliflower served with a salad and some great bread would make a fun meal. Hopefully you have kids that adore veggies and if you don’t this is one way they might come around.
After all, when you remove this roasted head from the oven, there is a whisp of steam that spirals above it shooting straight up from the center. If Alex was still at home he’d probably say that this cauliflower is the closest thing to a volcano that’s ever been placed on a dinner table. I must admit, it is quite cool!
Topping this beauty with whipped cheese or even serving it separately, creates a complex sensation of salty, cheesy flavor with the spicy tang of the whole roasted cauliflower.
Yes, that’s right. This cauliflower, before it is roasted, is first cooked in a “broth” of white wine and chile flakes. It is amazing what flavor this imparts. The simple, somewhat bland cauliflower transforms into a spicy, succulent head of burnished goodness.
Totally worth trying if you love cauliflower, this dish is even good as leftovers. Heated up with the cheese sauce, it can also be served as a side dish. Or even perhaps as lunch. With potato salad. Or not!
So how are you all doing? I must admit I’ve not been myself for over a week. I’ve had a horrible, gigantic cold and an even more horrible cough that has not let me sleep at night. Sitting in front of this computer makes me dizzy and shaky which I believe to be after effects of cold medicine. No. It is not the other “C” word. I have no fever! Just a bad cold and I haven’t had one in years.
A few things I’ve learned this cold season. Herbal cough medicine with osha root really helps. Much better than the standard stuff on the shelves. Look it up, if you need too.
Also, Vicks vapo rub. (Just learned this yesterday.) When you place a bit of Vicks under your nostrils it tricks your brain into believing that your nose isn’t clogged and helped stop my cough. Hey, all I know is it worked for me and I was able to sleep last night!
I didn’t do much last week so this week I hope to put together a list of all my favorite comfort food recipes on this blog. Hope that helps.
If you want some more info on the big C, I found this video quite helpful. Honestly, I really wasn’t sure about the protocol of reading the newspaper. Does one wash hands before or after or both? This is such tricky stuff.
In Denver, if you want to donate a meal to health workers and support our restaurants at the same time, this is the place to feed Colorado heroes.
Now some food for thought. During these crazy times it’s easy to lose one’s patience. I’ve been trying to practice thinking good things about people which is not something I’m necessarily very good at. The more good thoughts I think, the better the world seems to become.
Focusing on the positive helps make my world more beautiful. In spite of all this craziness let’s use our heads and create some beauty. If only because it makes us feel better. Nothing wrong with being a little selfish, eh?
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This whole roasted cauliflower with a salty cheese sauce is the star of any meal!
2 quarts water
2 1/2 c white wine
1/3 c plus 2 T olive oil, divided, plus more for serving
1 T plus 1/2 t Morton’s kosher salt
3 T lemon juice
2 T butter
1 T red pepper flakes
1 T sugar
1 bay leaf
1 large head of cauliflower
1/2 c or 4 oz goat cheese flavored, or not
3 oz cream cheese
1/2 c crumbled feta cheese or other crumbly cheese
1/3 c heavy cream or more to make a cheesy drizzle
Maldon or other flaky sea salt
1/2 t chile flakes, such as Urfa or Aleppo or red for sprinkling
Fill a large pot with water, wine, 1/3 c olive oil, 1 T salt, lemon juice, butter, red pepper flakes, sugar and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat.
Trim cauliflower’s stem, and add the head to the pot. Turn the heat down to medium and cook for 7 – 10 minutes, or until the bottom is approaching tenderness.
Preheat oven to 475.
Gently flip it in the pot and cook for another 5 -8 minutes or until the center is easily pierced with a knife. Gently life the cauliflower from the pot using two large spoons or spatulas. Discard the broth.
Place the cauliflower in a cast iron skillet or on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 30 – 40 minutes or until the top becomes golden brown with white cauliflower showing through. Do not let it overcook or it will droop!
While the cauliflower is in the oven, place your cheeses in a 4 c measuring cup and using an immersion blender, with the heavy cream and 2 T of olive oil, process until the mixture is smooth and light. Stir in 1/2 t of salt or to taste. Set aside at room temperature. Stir in more heavy cream if you want more of a drizzle.
When cauliflower is finished roasting drizzle with more olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Cheese can be placed on the cauliflower or cauliflower can be placed on the cheese. This is great scooped up with fresh bread.
Thanks Shaya for a great recipe!
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