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. —Food52
small head cauliflower (2 pounds)
good olive oil
crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Italian mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
Gruyère cheese, grated
thinly sliced prosciutto, julienned
large slices country-style bread
Freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese
minced fresh chives
Flaked sea salt, such as Maldon
In This Recipe
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
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.
Set the oven to broil and arrange a rack 6 inches below the heat.
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.
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.