Make Ahead

Roast cauliflower with smoky mascarpone sauce

October  7, 2010
0 Ratings
  • Serves 4-6
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.

What You'll Need
  • 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!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • AppleAnnie
  • lastnightsdinner
  • Sagegreen
  • AntoniaJames
  • JoanG
I love food! I love to cook, eat, read about food, write about food, and enjoy meals with friends and family. I have been writing a food memoir for the past decade and am just about done! I epsecially love to create recipes using seasonal and local produce. I love to travel and wherever I go I shop at markets, cook, and try to take a cooking class.

8 Reviews

AppleAnnie October 12, 2010
The sauce with mascarpone and cheddar sounds delicious and fairly simple to make.
JoanG October 12, 2010
Yes, it is easy and would be good with other veggies as well, like broccoli or on a baked potato.
lastnightsdinner October 8, 2010
Mmmmmmmm - it's 9 in the morning and I want this now!
JoanG October 9, 2010
Thanks! I am bummed because my husgand just finished the last portion of this.
Sagegreen October 8, 2010
This sounds really like a perfect place for smoked paprika! Great combinations.
JoanG October 8, 2010
Thanks Sagegreen. I really like the smoky accents.
AntoniaJames October 7, 2010
Bechamel + butter sounds like the perfect "cheat"!! I can't use smoky paprika but I think the smoked cheese alone would work just fine, for me at least. Love this!! (Cauliflower is and always has been one of my favorite foods. I'm utterly in heaven this week . . . . .) ;o)
JoanG October 7, 2010
Thanks Antonia! I had so much creating this and I hopeo thers will try it and like it.I agree, cauliflower is the best!