Roast cauliflower with smoky mascarpone sauce

By JoanG
October 7, 2010
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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.

Serves: 4-6

  • 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 teaspoons smoked paprika plus more for decorating
  1. Cut the cauliflower in quarters and slice each quarter into thin slices. Some may crumble, that’s ok. You can use everything.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Carefully remove the pieces, broken ones and all, to an oiled gratin pan. Pour the sauce of the cauliflower
  6. 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.
  7. Or hide this if you want to eat it all yourself!

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