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Author Notes: I love to roast cauliflower and usually do this with olive oil and spices.
I also was reading a recipe for a cauliflower cheese soup and got the idea of a cheesy sauce to pour over the roast cauliflower. Rather than make a béchamel sauce, I decided to cheat and use mascarpone as the base, mixed with butter. I had some smoked cheddar cheese on hand and decided to accentuate the smokiness with smoked paprika. I finished this off with some grated cheese melted under the broiler, and loved the result. I would have eaten he entire dish but my husband wanted some. It is good by itself or could be served on buttered toast, rice, or pasta.
- 1 large head cauliflower , leaves and stem removed
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 8 ounces mascarpone
- 6 ounces good quality smoked cheddar cheese, coarsely grated p
- 1/2-1 teaspoon smoked paprika plus more for decorating
- Cut the cauliflower in quarters and slice each quarter into thin slices. Some may crumble, that’s ok. You can use everything.
- Place the cauliflower slices in a single layer on an oiled baking sheet. If there's not enough room, use two sheets. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with ½ tsp of the sea salt.
- Roast at 475 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, flipping the pieces over when they start to get brown. The pieces will be tender, crispy and fragrant.
- While the cauliflower roasts, make the sauce. Melt butter over low heat in s amll saucepan. Mix in mascarpone and most of the grated cheese, resrving a small amount to spinkle on the dish in a later step. Stir until combined and creamy. Remove from heat. Stir in smoked paprika, and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Carefully remove the pieces, broken ones and all, to an oiled gratin pan. Pour the sauce of the cauliflower
- Sprinkle with reserved cheese and put under the broiler for about 5 minutes until the grated cheese metls and begins to get crisp. Remove from oven and sprinkle with more smoked paprika and serve.
- Or hide this if you want to eat it all yourself!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Cauliflower Recipe