Ina Garten's Cauliflower Toasts

October  1, 2018
22 Ratings
Photo by Quentin Bacon
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 35 minutes
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

Cauliflower is, in my opinion, a highly underappreciated vegetable. Roasting brings out its flavor. Lots of Gruyère and prosciutto add flavor and texture. Always cut cauliflower from the stem end, not the top. You’ll keep the florets intact and avoid getting cauliflower crumbles all over your counter.

Helpful tools for this recipe:
- Kosterina Green Olive Oil
- Global Classic Knife Collection
- Five Two Double-Sided Bamboo Cutting Board

Recipes and photographs reprinted from Cook Like a Pro: Recipes & Tips for Home Cooks. Copyright © 2018 by Ina Garten. Photographs by Quentin Bacon. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. —Food52

What You'll Need
  • 1 small head cauliflower (2 pounds)
  • 4 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces Italian mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 6 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, julienned
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 6 large slices country-style bread
  • Paprika
  • Freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • Flaked sea salt, such as Maldon
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Turn the cauliflower upside down on a cutting board. Cut off and discard most but not all of the stems, then cut the florets into small, 1/2-inch clusters. Place the florets on a sheet pan, toss them with the olive oil, red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper, and spread them out in a single layer. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing two or three times, until the florets are tender and randomly browned. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Set the oven to broil and arrange a rack 6 inches below the heat.
  4. Transfer the florets to a large mixing bowl and add the mascarpone, stirring to coat the florets evenly. Stir in the Gruyère, prosciutto, nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper.
  5. Toast the bread in a toaster until lightly browned, and place in a single layer on a sheet pan lined with foil. Mound the cauliflower mixture evenly on each toast and dust with paprika. Broil the toasts for 2 to 4 minutes, until browned and bubbling. (Watch them carefully!) Transfer to plates and sprinkle with Parmesan, the chives, and sea salt. Serve hot.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • karin.anderson.52
  • MBE
  • Michelle
  • Joelle Bradley
    Joelle Bradley
  • Mandy Sunde
    Mandy Sunde

21 Reviews

Nellie D. November 16, 2023
I only used one teaspoon of salt and left out half the gruyere and it was still too salty. Otherwise very good!
Kiki September 8, 2023
This was delicious! Because I don’t eat meat, I substituted the prosciutto for caramelized onions, but otherwise followed the recipe as written. YUM! Thank you for sharing!
Ashley July 28, 2023
Italian mascarpone cheese and Gruyère cheese are really expensive for me to eat this on the regular. Are there any substitutes to these cheese that give this toast similar taste/texture?
Mandy S. July 28, 2023
I would say Ricotta or cream cheese for marscapone, but it won't have the same silky texture. For gruyere I would say swiss is doable or a harder sharper white cheese. Hope this helps, it is really is a good recipe.
Trevor M. September 30, 2023
Sour cream was an amazing g sub for macaroons, where I live, fancy cheeses are hard to find, ricotta and macaroons were not an option and cream cheese was too sweet for me for this purpose.
karin.anderson.52 July 22, 2023
Very nice! I omitted the salt in the cauliflower-cheese mixture, and skipped the sea salt topping. With the cheese and prosciutto the toast are are definitely salty enough. I will make them again.
MBE March 4, 2022
So indeed the leftovers made a great pasta dish! Cooked some rigatoni, added some leftover cubed chicken breast and a bit of heavy cream. Baked until hot and bubbly and served it with steamed broccoli because I was
MBE February 25, 2022
Yum! The only thing I would question is the additional tsp of salt added to the mascarpone mixture considering the salt from the cauliflower, cheese and prosciutto. I made sourdough no knead bread that was perfect. Also used a bit of crème fraiche, cream cheese and mascarpone (using up dribs and drabs) and substituted sharp white cheddar for the Gruyere. Cooking for two so made a full batch of the cauliflower then half of it with the other ingredients. Didn't need all of that either, so now I have leftovers to play with!! I'm thinking pasta.
sharskee January 11, 2021
Really delicious! I didn't have gruyere and used white cheddar and skipped the prosciutto since I'm vegetarian. Would make again. would also be good cut into smaller pieces and served as an appetizer.
brushjl October 26, 2020
this is why I am not a chef, would never have dreamed of this exquisite combination. just superb.
Michelle August 18, 2020
This was amazing! I will be making this again
Joelle B. June 28, 2020
We had beautiful home made bagels. We sliced each into three toasts. Very delicious, but really dry. Need some creamier sauce. What could that be that is really easy? Whipping cream? Sour cream? Ideas please
Karen H. August 9, 2020
I would add a little more mascarpone, and maybe stir in a little cream or sour cream, like you suggest...and because you are adding bland ingredients, bump up the flavorings in the recipe (pepper flakes, salt and pepper, nutmeg, and chives).
Joelle B. August 10, 2020
Thanks Karen!
Jacque January 7, 2022
??? Cream cheese.

Mandy S. October 11, 2018
This was so tasty!! Easy to make and so savory, nutty, and cheesy.
Lisa October 7, 2018
How about this topping on fresh pizza dough? Takes a little longer, but worth it, I think.
Juliebell October 7, 2018
Great idea! I was wondering about rye or sourdough toast.
alw2276 February 14, 2021
Great idea! I was going quesadilla with it. Seems very versatile.
alw2276 February 14, 2021
Rye sounds good
On garlic naan?! 😍