Alon Shaya's Whole Roasted Cauliflower and Whipped Goat Cheese

By • October 8, 2013 • 69 Comments

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Author Notes: Cauliflower poached in a winey, punchy broth, then roasted -- whole -- results in a brown and crackly masterpiece. Topped with a creamy, tangy sauce, Alon Shaya's cauliflower is pure genius. Adapted slightly from Bon Appetit Magazine.Genius Recipes

Serves 4 to 6

Roasted Cauliflower

  • 1 head cauliflower, whole, stem trimmed and leaves removed
  • 2 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup olive oil plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Coarse sea salt (for serving)
  1. Heat oven to 475° F. Bring wine, oil, salt, lemon juice, butter, red pepper flakes, sugar, bay leaf, and 8 cups water to a boil in a large pot.
  2. Carefully lower in cauliflower, reduce heat, and simmer, turning occasionally, until a knife easily inserts into center, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Using 2 slotted spoons or a mesh strainer or spider, transfer cauliflower to a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan, draining well.
  4. Roast, rotating pan halfway through, until brown all over, 30 to 40 minutes.
  5. Transfer cauliflower to a plate. Drizzle with oil; sprinkle with sea salt. Serve with whipped goat cheese (recipe below).

Whipped Goat Cheese

  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 3 ounces feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for serving
  1. Blend goat cheese, cream cheese, feta, cream, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a food processor until smooth; season with sea salt.
  2. Transfer whipped goat cheese to a serving bowl and drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Note: Whipped goat cheese can be made one day ahead. Cover and chill in the refrigerator.
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Comments (69) Questions (1)


about 22 hours ago jellygood

Sorry to say but this dish was underwhelming. It looked great when it came out of the oven but as one person commented below, it gave the cauliflower a somewhat odd taste. Fine for a midweek meal for myself and partner, but sadly not wow enough to serve to friends. However I am determined to give this dish another shot and am freezing the broth to reuse - in part because this recipe got so many accolades, but also because the broth wasn't cheap! I may try roasting carrots instead.


about 1 month ago KvellintheKitchen

Loved this recipe! It is aptly named as a genius recipe for sure: the broth is piquant and tangy, and the texture of my cauliflower (I poached it for 12 minutes) was spot-on; slightly softened but firm and crackly. I "lightened up" the recipe a bit (forgoing the butter, salt albeit a generous sprinkle, and subbing nonfat Greek yogurt for the cream cheese and heavy cream in the whipped goat cheese) and the recipe was still richly delicious. Definitely a crowd-pleaser, and will absolutely make again!


3 months ago Transcendancing

This was incredible! The cauliflower really did take on the flavours from the poaching liquid! Really enjoyed the cheese topping a whole lot. The roasting finished things off beautifully and this was a great addition to our Christmas feast. Would definitely make again for a dinner party.


4 months ago Katherin

Fabulous recipe! It did turn out a little softer than I'd imagined, but still incredibly delicious.


4 months ago Rod Prather

This is an excellent recipe. The process of cooking the Cauliflower in the wine gives it a great flavor. Replacing the cream and goat cheese sauce with a beer and cheddar sauce seems a fine idea though a white wine and cheese sauce might be more appropriate. The basis of the wine cooked cauliflower is amazing.


4 months ago ins7000

Someone copy pasted this recipe with different sauce over here, claiming to be original:


5 months ago Rachel Christensen

Rachel Christensen is the Social Media Manager for Food52.

This was so good -- I had just bought fresh ricotta, so we dipped it in that instead of making the sauce.


6 months ago Rod Prather

This looks like an excellent recipe. It was posted in May 2013 edition of Bon Apetit Magazine. Literally no modifications from the original.


6 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Hi Rod, as you can see in the headnote above, credit and a link are given to Bon Appetit version. There are slight clarifications to the text, which is why the most honest credit we can give is "adapted slightly".


5 months ago Theresa Nicoletto

Rod, we're you a hall monitor? :-)


5 months ago Rod Prather

Nah, I collect and share recipes and have had several personal recipes placed on web sites without credit. Just like to see credit where due. Incidently, this is a really nice way to prepare cauliflower. The wine and the seasonings give the vegetable a great flavor with our without the feta cream sauce.


6 months ago Nomnomnom

I made this last night and it was excellent! Thank you for sharing. I don't know how I missed it the first time around!


10 months ago Darlene

Have tried this before and love it, but not interested in heating up my kitchen during the summer. After poaching, do you think this could be roasted on the grill?


10 months ago michelle_a

Incredibly tasty on many levels. The poaching liquid was pretty heavenly, and I only had one cup of white wine left. Subbed water with a little vinegar, and cut salt in half. Very tasty. Agree with other reviews that it's a bit soft, even though I simmered only for 10 minutes. Roasted for about 25 minutes as it was nicely browned. It's a shame to cut down the simmer team since the broth is so good, but I'd almost consider basting the cauliflower sans simmer to get a better texture?

Left out the cream cheese from the sauce & still decadent. Together with the cauliflower, you really couldn't go wrong. Saved the extra liquid & boiled some pasta for lunch tomorrow (and stole about 4 bites the taste was so flavorful, it didn't need anything else).


about 1 year ago mklug

We had this last year at Domenica and it was beyond beyond! So good that we promised ourselves that if we went dairy-free for 3 months we'd go back and have it again as a reward (and return to cheese). It is so good that its promise is keeping me on track! But now that I could make it at home--I can't even cope. I swear I'll be making up for lost time. Could not be more yummy!


about 1 year ago LizCo77

I made this with Broccolo Romanesco and it was absolutely delicious! Everyone raved about it. I love the combination of the red pepper and the tangy sauce. I did omit the cream cheese, because I happened to have the other two cheeses on hand, and I put the topping on and warmed it a bit in the oven before serving. A hit, thank you!


about 1 year ago kimizimi

This recipe was fantastic! Delicious and very easy to make. I agree with others that poaching it in the broth did soften the cauliflower thoroughly, but I don't think that's a bad thing. The only thing I may do differently next time is roast on a higher level in the oven to achieve a more uniform charred effect


about 1 year ago Jennifer

I had this dish in Shaya's restaurant, Domenica, in New Orleans. It was one of the most amazing vegetable dishes I have ever eaten. However, I have to say that this version just wasn't as impressive. It was mushier and didn't have as much flavor. I really think it should only be steamed in the broth for 5 minutes at most and then roasted. I also think the whipped goat and feta cheese mixture is much better without the cream cheese. If you are ever in New Orleans definitely make sure to get to Dominca to try the chef's version of this amazing dish.


about 1 year ago salmontrot

I didn't read the "reduce heat, and simmer" directions, so the cauliflower was pretty well done after boiling at 15 minutes (oops). After that it really only needed about 10 minutes roasting time in a convection oven, 450 degrees. 30 - 40 minutes would have been a disaster. Still amazing. The poaching liquid infused the most incredible flavor. Then, as others suggested, used the liquid to boil pasta for another meal. Yum!


about 1 year ago Amy

Great recipe. For a weeknight we skip the sauce but with more time the sauce is awesome. the poaching liquid is wonderful for cauliflower soup base too.


about 1 year ago MmeTrish

I have served this to the gasping delight of many a dinner guest! I freeze the poaching liquid and use it for the next roasted cauliflower making it an even faster and easier dish extrodinaire!


25 days ago JSCooks

So clever! I was wondering how to re-purpose the remaining liquid. Great way to make an easy dish even easier!


about 1 year ago selena

This is a go to recipe that I serve along side chicken curry. Now, I put the cheese topping on and put it back into the hot oven to brown on top and warm the cheese sauce. Love it this way even better!


about 1 year ago Caroline Conger

Delicious! I love the comment about boiling pasta in the poaching liquid. I added some smashed garlic to my liquid, too.