Roasted Cauliflower Cheese

Monday 12 July 2021

Roasted Cauliflower Cheese  
Cauliflower is one of those vegetables you either love or you loathe.  One of the brassica family vegetables, I am from the love it camp.   

Too many people have just had it very poorly cooked, and this has turned their eaters off of it. Properly cooked, it is a fabulous vegetable.  But like any brassica, over cook it and you have created something appallingly horrific to the taste! 

Roasted Cauliflower Cheese 
There is nothing more distasteful than a limp watery and mushy piece of cabbage, broccoli or cauliflower!!!  Crispy tender is the way to go, lightly steamed is better than boiling.

But, if you want a really nice flavor, roasting it is the way to go!  When you roast it, you end up with a beautifully cooked vegetable with caramelized edges, crispy tender insides.  In short brassica perfection.

Roasted Cauliflower Cheese 
In Deb Perelman's book, Smitten Kitchen Every Day, she has a recipe for the Cauliflower Wedge.  I was intrigued by it.  

Roasted cauliflower wedges, adorned with fried capers and dried currants, plus plenty of parsley.  I thought I could do one better though.

Roasted Cauliflower Cheese 
I love cauliflower cheese.  Tender pieces of cauliflower in a lush cheese sauce, topped with more cheese, and baked until golden brown.  

This is a favorite dish of many people and you will find it laid out as a side dish in many carveries in the UK. In fact you can even buy loose frozen cauliflower cheese there.  Ready to pour out into a dish and bake.

Roasted Cauliflower Cheese 
Its a favorite dish, but I don't always want to go to the trouble of making a cheese sauce.  I got to thinking, there has to be an easier way, but one which is just as delicious.

Voila!  Roasted Cauliflower Cheese.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Roasted Cauliflower Cheese 
I borrowed Deb's idea of roasting the cauliflower first.  You just need to cut your vegetable into wedges, drizzle it with a bit of olive oil, season and roast it in a hot oven.

10 minutes on one side and 10 minutes on the other. At that time it should have begun to beautifully caramelize, but still be crispy tender.

Roasted Cauliflower Cheese 
There is a chicken dish I do that is very delicious and very popular, called Chicken Rarebits.  Boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced almost all the way through, roasted with cherry tomatoes, topped with  cheese, grainy mustard and cream.

It is my absolute favorite chicken dish of all time, and something which the missionaries always loved having when they ate at my house.  LOVED!

Roasted Cauliflower Cheese 
I would cook a full roasting tray of it and it would disappear every single time. Its just incredibly delicious.  The cheese and tomatoes make a beautiful sauce and the chicken always comes out incredibly tender.

I haven't made it since I moved back to Canada. I will have to make it the next time my family comes over for supper. I think they would enjoy it.

Roasted Cauliflower Cheese 
I got to thinking today that mixture would also make a fabulous sauce for roasted cauliflower.  Why not try it? 

Why not indeed!  And so I did.  I used a medium strength cheddar in a mix of white and orange.  I also added some grated Parmesan cheese for some variety.

Roasted Cauliflower Cheese 
I mixed that together with a tablespoon of grainy Dijon mustard and some heavy cream.  Not a lot.  

Then I spooned it over top of the cauliflower after it was roasted and turning golden brown, caramelized in places., and then banged it back into the oven.

Roasted Cauliflower Cheese 
Not for long.  Just long enough for the cheese to melt into that cream and for the flavors to mingle.

The mixture melting down into all the little nooks, crannies and crevices of that scrumptious caramelized cauliflower.

Roasted Cauliflower Cheese

Crispy tender, golden bits of cauliflower  . . .  gooey melting cheese with the spark of mustard, and the richness of cream . . . 

What a tasty mouthful.  What a tasty mouthful.  I'm not sure that this could get any better. Not sure at all.

Roasted Cauliflower Cheese

And I am pretty sure you could make a delicious soup with the leftovers, heated gently in some milk along with a bit of potato . . .  blitzed until smooth with  a stick blender.

Just an idea I might try. I'll let you know how it goes, but I am salivating already.

Roasted Cauliflower Cheese

I garnished it with a bit of chopped green onion for color.  Scallions. Spring onions.  Whatever you want to call them. It added a spark of green and just a tad bit of sharpness.  Bacon bits would also be nice.  Just saying  . . . 

In any case, this turned out really lovely. I really enjoyed it.  Its also low carb and gluten free if you are on those types of diets.  Delicious is what it is.  Just plain delicious. It makes a fabulous side for four or a scrumptious main dish for two.

Roasted Cauliflower Cheese

Roasted Cauliflower Cheese

Yield: 4
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 30 MinTotal time: 35 Min
This has to be the easiest cauliflower cheese going. There is no faffing about making a sauce, or anything like that. If you can cut a cauli into four wedges, then you can make this.


  • 1 small to medium cauliflower, about 1 1/2 pound in weight
  • 4 TBS olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the cheese:
  • 1 cup (235g) grated medium cheddar cheese
  • 2 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 TBS grainy mustard
  • 1/4 cup(60ml) cream
You will also need: (optional)
  • 1 spring onion, washed, trimmed and minced


  1. Preheat the oven to 450*F/230*C.  
  2. Line a baking tray with sides with some aluminum foil and then drizzle 2 TBS of the olive oil on the tray.
  3. Trim your cauliflower, removing and discarding any large leaves. Small ones are okay to leave on. Keep the core intact.  Cut the cauliflower into 4 even wedges.  
  4. Place the wedges cut side down on the baking tray and drizzle with the remaining 2 TBS of oil.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  5. Roast in the preheated oven for 10  minutes, until golden brown on the sides touching the tray.  Flip over to the other side, season a bit more and return to the oven for a further  10 minutes.
  6. Stir together both cheeses, the mustard and the cream.  Spoon a dollop of this mixture on top of each wedge and return to the oven for a further 8 to 10 minutes, until the cheese has melted and turned golden in a few places, and the cauliflower is crispy tender.
  7. Sprinkle with the chopped spring onions and serve immediately.
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Roasted Cauliflower Cheese
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1 comment

  1. I love all of the cruciferous vegetables and you are quite right - if you cook them the right way, they are delicious. I love whole roasted cauliflower and there is so much you can do with it. Matt Preston has a fabulous recipe with Middle Eastern flavours, and another favourite is from Gwyneth Paltrow of all people! I even make salad with it, adding things like capers, pinenuts, pimentos and olives.

    I've not tried your Chicken Rarebits, but will rectify that this week :) I think that my favourite of your chicken dishes is the Artichoke Chicken. Every time I serve it, people are so impressed.

    This dish sounds like something we'd really enjoy. And yes, I can picture the leftovers as a soup, with added garlic, chicken stock and cream or butter. Some chopped parsley or croutons on top and you've another meal. I really like it when you can repurpose a dish to create something new.


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