Alon Shaya's Whole Roasted Cauliflower and Whipped Goat Cheese

By • October 8, 2013 • 60 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 (60) Questions (1)

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1 day ago Rachel Christensen

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

Stringio

8 days 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.

Miglore

8 days 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".

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15 days 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!

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4 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?

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5 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).

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7 months 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!

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8 months ago LizzyD77

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!

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8 months 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

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8 months 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.

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9 months 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!

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9 months 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.

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9 months 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!

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9 months 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!

Stringio

9 months ago Caroline Conger

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

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9 months ago Darlene

I gave my 12 year old twin daughters several menu choices earlier this week and to my delight (and surprise!) they chose this recipe. I wasn't sure if it would be satisfying enough for a meal for the three of us, but it was and we finished every bite. The first time I made this, I used wine, but having none on hand, I used chicken stock this time as a sub. It was just as good. The next night, I used the liquid to braise cabbage and then cook pasta from another recipe from this site - "Weeknight Pasta with Caramelized Cabbage, Sage Infused Brown Butter and Walnuts" - which I'm sure infused the cabbage and pasta with an additional layer of flavors. Delicious times two!

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10 months ago roryrabbitfield

Can I poach it the day before, keeping it refrigerated overnight, then roasting on the day I serve it?

Miglore

10 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Yes, great plan -- though I would bring it down to room temperature before roasting it, so the outside doesn't burn before the center is warmed through.

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11 months ago Grammymem

While I realize something will be lost, what can I substitute for the wine?

Miglore

10 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

I would do more broth (or a mix of broth and water) with a splash more lemon juice or vinegar.

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11 months ago Vstarr71

I didn't have feta or heavy cream, so I substituted a little blue cheese and 2% milk.....it turned out sooooo good:) thank you for the lovely recipe!

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11 months ago Anne

what is the consistency of the sauce supposed to be? And, is it really served cold or at room temperature?

Miglore

10 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Sorry I missed this question -- the sauce should be creamy and thick, but not super stiff. And yes, cold or room temp is great -- I've never tried serving it hot.

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12 months ago Rebekah Verbeten

PS-I followed a few previous comments and reduced the wine by a cup and halved the salt.