Serves a Crowd

Alon Shaya's Whole Roasted Cauliflower and Whipped Goat Cheese

March 21, 2021
36 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Serves 4 to 6
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

What You'll Need
  • 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
  • 1 pinch Coarse sea salt (for serving)
  • 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. Roasted Cauliflower
  2. 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.
  3. Carefully lower in cauliflower, reduce heat, and simmer, turning occasionally, until a knife easily inserts into center, 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Using 2 slotted spoons or a mesh strainer or spider, transfer cauliflower to a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan, draining well.
  5. Roast, rotating pan halfway through, until brown all over, 30 to 40 minutes.
  6. Transfer cauliflower to a plate. Drizzle with oil; sprinkle with sea salt. Serve with whipped goat cheese (recipe below).
  1. Whipped Goat Cheese
  2. Blend goat cheese, cream cheese, feta, cream, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a food processor until smooth; season with sea salt.
  3. Transfer whipped goat cheese to a serving bowl and drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Note: Whipped goat cheese can be made one day ahead. Cover and chill in the refrigerator.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kat
  • Elizabeth Wilson
    Elizabeth Wilson
  • Marcelline
  • Stephanie B.
    Stephanie B.
  • LizTerry
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

109 Reviews

lighthouse6 December 6, 2022
I have made this many times of the years. So simple to make and delicious. Poaching two big heads today and roasting tomorrow for a party app : )
brushjl December 14, 2021
Gotta add my two cents. Sensational. Sometimes I get bored with cooking, but this renewed my passion. Just fantastic.
Helen March 12, 2021
This was my first whole roasted cauliflower. I thought the wine was wasted in the poaching liquid bzzz
lighthouse6 December 6, 2022
Why in the world would you waste it? I have poached in veg and chicken stock before I found this recipe and they were not as great as this one. The poaching liquid can used in a myriad of ways... never toss it.
Jessica June 5, 2023
What are some of the ways you would reuse the poaching liquid other than poaching more things?
lighthouse6 June 5, 2023
Poaching more things would be great. But I have used it with stock in various soups too. Anything you cook that could use a splash of flavor. Place in the bottom of a roasting pan when cooking chicken = yummy gravy. There is not too much left after boiling for 20 min.
Koelena79 August 14, 2023
Susan February 4, 2021
I made this tonight for the second time. The first time I do remember loving it and ask myself why I waited so long to make it again! It disappeared in just a few short minutes!
I do have a lot of the cheese mixture left does anyone have any suggestion for its use? I always have my family rate recipes on a scale of 1 to 10...and an honest opinion otherwise they are likely to get it again. This is an off the chart rating among them :)
Amy B. May 15, 2021
I'm a little late to your reply, but we grill okra and serve the leftover sauce with the okra. I can imagine it would be amazing with most anything. As a schmear underneath slices of heirloom tomato dressed with olive oil, etc...
Kat October 19, 2020
This was very tasty, but during the roasting step, the oil in the cauliflower ended up splattering my oven and causing it to smoke. We had to disconnect our fire alarm because the entire apartment was covered in smoke. I won't be making this again for that reason.
Elizabeth W. December 30, 2019
Served this for Thanksgiving- big hit!
Marcelline July 12, 2019
All I have to say about this recipe is that I am a lifelong hater of cauliflower until yesterday. This recipe really ups the flavor game on cauliflower, which is probably the main reason why I have loathed it for so long. I followed the recipe as is and gobbled it down quickly. The goat cheese dip is also a very nice touch! Love it!
Claudia April 14, 2019
I have been making this recipe or years and it always receives rave reviews.
Stephanie B. February 13, 2019
I don't know if this recipe needs another rave review, but I'm adding mine to the pile: seriously amazing cauliflower. It's somehow so tender it feels like it's going to fall apart, but doesn't have that overcooked cruciferous taste. I agree with others that it doesn't need the whipped feta (no goat cheese for me), but I thought the cheese sauce went well with the side of pomegranate, pistachio, and crsipy chickpea couscous I served alongside the cauliflower so I'm glad I made it. I will be making this cauliflower again, 100% sure of that.
K B. January 24, 2019
I made this tonight and my partner and I are blown away - 0MG!! So delicious, so easy. The combination of the poaching liquid, the roasted cauliflower, and the 3-cheese sauce was amazing. To quote him "That chef is a genius!" Absolutely. We devoured a 3 pound cauliflower and laid waste to the sauce.
I read through all the comments carefully and, like many 1) poached it for only 12 minutes. That might be a little long since it fell into big pieces as I removed it from the pan but the ending texture was still pretty firm 2) used half&half instead of heavy cream since that's what I had on hand and it was fine. 3) cut back on the salt in the poaching liquid and didn't add any to the cauliflower or cheese sauce and it was perfect.
This would be a great side dish to fish or chicken. We had it as our entree and were both super full. This goes into our regular dinner rotation.
Alon Shaya - you are an astoundingly creative chef. Thank you for this brilliant recipe. Next time I'm in NOLA, my favorite city in the US, I will run to Dominica.
Rachel January 12, 2019
LizTerry December 31, 2018
Excellent recipe and a crowd favorite. Most of us would have said we dont like cauliflower but not after this version.
Karen B. November 17, 2018
This is amazingly GOOD!!!!
Emily H. November 13, 2018
I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for what to do for the cheese sauce if we do not like goat cheese? (yes sorry) thanks!
Rkelly3042 November 14, 2018
Have used Parmesan cheese, blue cheese dressing when feeling lazy and really find it delicious on its own with no topping at all.
Emily H. November 14, 2018
Thanks for your reply! :) I like the parmesan idea!
LizTerry December 31, 2018
My mom doesnt like goat cheese and I just skipped it for her and used a little more cream cheese and a little more feta to make up for it.
AntoniaJames November 20, 2017
I'm awarding this sensational dish "Keeper" status. Here's a tip: Save the cooking broth to use a few days later with broccolini (poach for 2 minutes, roast for 12) or - my personal fave - romanesco, which should be sliced north-south before roasting (poach 3-4 minutes, roast 10 - 15, depending on size). I don't serve it with goat cheese. We like a light lemony tahini sauce better, but frankly, all iterations are fantastic without any sauce or cheese whatsoever. In the words of the late, great Judy Rodgers, "Try this." ;o)
Katrina October 5, 2017
I made this last night, and watched it be devoured right before my eyes.
Doreen C. October 4, 2017
This recipe is my constant go-to and a family fave. We don't always make the goat cheese - the cauliflower stands perfectly on its own. We have not experienced it being too soft, but I try to use the largest head available. Give this one a try - you'll add it to your go-to list.
Susan September 18, 2016
I made this tonight for the first time. After reading the comments I decided to poach it for 7 minutes and then roasted it for 35. It was delicious! That said, even though it was not mushy as some have experienced, for our liking I will cut it to 5 minutes poaching next time. The amount of spice was simply perfect and goat chees sauce a perfect match. Saving the poaching liquid for boiling pasta or will freeze it in for next time as suggested in the comments.
Rickiam December 23, 2015
This is a great recipe for a show stopper appetizer. I've made it several times exactly according to the original BA instructions and my guests devoured it ! One of my favorites.
Christine November 16, 2015
I made this as a dry run before serving on Thanksgiving, and I'm glad I did - it came out of the oven looking exactly like the photo - so impressive! But it was completely mushy! Did I over-poach it or is this just the texture it is supposed to have? I really want try again, maybe poaching for only five minutes, or skipping that step altogether...any suggestions?
Ida-Maria S. November 16, 2015
I prefer it on the firmer side so I don't poach it for very long... Just long enough for some of the flavor to attach (between 5 and 10 minutes). Then I usually baste it a few times while it is in the oven.