Alon Shaya's Whole Roasted Cauliflower and Whipped Goat Cheese

October 8, 2013

Test Kitchen-Approved

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
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 1 hrs


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
In This Recipe


Roasted Cauliflower

  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

  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.

More Great Recipes:
American|Cauliflower|Cheese|Cream Cheese|Lemon Juice|Vegetable|Goat Cheese|Serves a Crowd|Hanukkah|Winter|Christmas|Fall

Reviews (95) Questions (3)

95 Reviews

Rachel January 12, 2019
yum<br />
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.
Trena H. January 5, 2018
I made this for lunch today with a side of roasted chicken thighs and this dish was superb!
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.
Lindsay October 9, 2015
This really is a great recipe. The whipped cheese is so salty and a bit tangy, and the cauliflower tasted rich once it is cooked. The whipped cheese mixture goes great in a bowl of tomato soup, if you have leftovers.
Amy October 4, 2017
"The whipped cheese mixture goes great in a bowl of tomato soup..."<br />Great idea! Yum!
Erin October 7, 2015
I love this recipe as does everyone I have ever made it for. Like others that have commented, I save the broth for another use and I don't often bother with the cheese sauce because the cauliflower is so good on its own. If making ahead I have found it best to go straight from poaching to the oven rather than letting it rest - seems to get soggy if it sits.
Ida-Maria S. July 28, 2015
Love this! Instead of the goat cheese, I reduce the broth and add some sour cream at the end - delicious. At the end of the roasting time I throw in some capers and hazelnuts and drizzle with oil.
skenny89 June 13, 2015
I made this recently, I have to agree with others posting that the broth gives the cauliflower a odd flavor that kind of seems off with the cheese dip. It was awkward to eat and couldn't quiet figure out a delicate way to do it that being said we absolutely loved the cheese dip and will definitely make it again, maybe next time with just simple roasted florets
RandR April 19, 2015
we make this all the time and usually don't even make the cheese sauce still great had it at Domenica in NOLA and got the recipe from Bon appetite as well
magill April 11, 2015
Made this from Bon Appetit and love it... with minor adjustments - surprise surprise. 1) I chop up the cauliflower - less impressive but easier to serve and cook - also allows you to poach it in advance and refrigerate easily, and reduces the liquid to 6 cups, 2 of wine, and reduces the salt and oil/butter. 2) After, I strain the liquid, top it up to 6 cups and refrigerate if making again within a few days, or else freeze. I have frozen this up to 3 times - but add a little bay leaf and crushed chili each time (not more salt or oil, maybe a smidge of butter). 3) Then I used the liquid to make a french onion-style soup (french-style onion soup?): 4 med onions carmelized about 90 min with infusions of liquid (to avoid drying too much) and some balsamic vinegar for color and flavor (the smoked brown sugar I tried wasn't noticeable). Last time, didn't have the usual cheese so grated and mixed some cheddar and parm, on bread under the broiler, sizzled going into the bowls. Would love some suggestions on upping the soup ante. Oh and left the sauce thicker (no oil but a little milk) - so less of a sauce more of a dip, but that is personal taste (also makes the cheese mixture harder coming out of the fridge for leftovers).
gingerroot April 8, 2015
I just came back from NOLA and Domenica and can't believe I missed this. Adding to my must try soon list!
gingerroot June 13, 2015
Made this a few months ago with some beautiful cheddar cauliflower in my CSA box and it was amazing. I only had two cups of wine, so made up the rest with chicken stock. The leftover broth went into some of the best risotto I've ever made - I may amp up my risotto liquid with extra wine next time. SO GOOD!
Y April 3, 2015
I had this when I was at Domenica in NOLA last month. The whole town is crazy about this dish! It is so, so good and completely kitschy in the best possible way. Pleased I can make it at home. Thank you!
jellygood March 31, 2015
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.