Baked cauliflower with whipped cheese

Baked cauliflower with whipped cheese

Whole baked cauliflower

Lovers of cauliflower and cheese, you need to pay attention. I’ve tasted something that just may rival that cheesy baked cauliflower many of us have grown to adore. It’s a recipe that was brought to my attention by fab food and travel blogger David, of Cocoa & Lavender ; something he and his partner tried whilst in New Orleans, at Domenica, an Italian restaurant by chefs Alon Shaya and John Besh.

Domenica means Sunday in Italian and it’s located in the stunning Roosevelt Hotel; serving up rustic Italian food in a contemporary setting. All I can say is that I’m kicking myself for not knowing about this place when we were in New Orleans late last year.

The cauliflower is served whole. First cooked in an aromatic and beautifully spiced broth, it then gets a blast in a hot oven, burnishing the surface and filling the kitchen with a wonderful aroma.

The cheese component is a purée of feta, cream cheese and goat cheese. Plus some cream and virgin olive oil. I went a little further and added a herb from my back garden – santolina rosmarinifolia – otherwise known as olive herb or holy flax. It’s a small shrub that originates from south west Europe, has thin leaves that look like lavender, but have the aroma of pickled black olives. It was a given that I blended some with the cheeses and used sprigs as garnish. Another thing I added was some toasted pine nuts; something that goes beautifully with all the other flavours.

The cooking liquid can be frozen and reused, if you wish.

Recipe slightly adapted from here

Whole baked cauliflower

Whole baked cauliflower

Whole baked cauliflower

 

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Baked cauliflower with whipped cheese
This baked cauliflower recipe is based on a dish served at Domenica, in New Orleans.
Whole baked cauliflower
Course Vegetables
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Vegetables
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Whole baked cauliflower
Instructions
  1. Place the water, wine, olive oil, cooking salt, lemon juice, butter, chilli, sugar and bay leaves into a large saucepan. Bring to the boil, drop in the cauliflower, and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 8 minutes, then turn over and cook for a further 8-10 minutes, or until just cooked through. Remove from the liquid and drain well.
  2. While the cauliflower is boiling, preheat the oven to 250°C.
  3. Place the cauliflower on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Drizzle with a little oil and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Rotate the sheet and cook for a further 15 or 20 minutes, until golden brown on top.
  4. While the cauliflower is cooking, process the three cheeses with the cream, virgin olive oil and olive herb, until smooth.
  5. To serve, place the roasted cauliflower on a board or platter. Smear the whipped cheese mixture next to it, or serve it in a bowl. Drizzle the cheese with a little virgin olive oil, pine nuts and olive herb. Lightly sprinkle everything with sea salt flakes and chilli flakes. Serve immediately.
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