Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan and Cheddar Cheese Frosting
This weeks theme for The Food Network’s #FallFest is cauliflower. Years ago I used to make a recipe quite often that was similar to this Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan and Cheddar Cheese Frosting. Simply called ‘frosted cauliflower’ it was steamed cauliflower with a simple mixture of cheese and mayonnaise spread over it before sticking it in the oven to bake just enough to melt the cheese.
I believe I thought the cheesy part would help me get my two girls to eat this veggie and doggone if it didn’t work! Like many recipes made oh so many years ago, it fell by the wayside and it was while perusing one of the many Bon Appetit magazines from a stack I have yet to get throug that I noticed an updated version of that old classic.
I loved their method of braising the cauliflower in a seasoned liquid on the stove; I can assure you that even without the sauce, this veggie cooked in wine and herbs was much tastier than my previous method of plain steaming. I thought the influence of red pepper flakes a bit too much though so I’ve reduced them a bit…want more heat; go for it!
Still, I decided to go with a version of the sauce I remember. The goat cheese mixture served on the side in the Bon Appetit recipe sounds wonderful and I will try it but you know how sometimes something hits you and NOTHING else will do? That’s what happened to me and doggone it, a cheese sauce frosted on the head of cauliflower was what it had to be! I’ve updated some of the components mostly because, well, I could eat whole grain mustard with a spoon and the addition of Parmesan made a sauce more to my liking today.
The end result was simply fabulous. Much prettier than I remember and tasty enough I could have eaten it all alone for dinner. Lucky for me I had some of my favorite chicken leftover in the fridge; an entire meal was made with just the chicken and Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan and Cheddar Cheese Frosting and it was SO good.
Do you remember Frosted Cauliflower or am I dreaming?
Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Cheese Sauce
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup kosher salt
- 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 cups water
- 1 head of cauliflower leaves and thickest part of core removed being careful to keep it intact.
For the Sauce:
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 tsp whole grain mustard
- 2 Tbsp chopped green onion
- Pepper to taste
- Parsley for Garnish (optional}
- Bring wine, oil, kosher salt, juice, butter, red pepper flakes, sugar, bay leaf, and 8 cups water to a boil in a large pot. Add whole cauliflower, reduce heat and simmer, turning occasionally, until a knife easily inserts into center, 15-20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
- Remove cauliflower from pot using 1 or 2 slotted spoons, drain and transfer the cauliflower to a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, rotating sheet halfway through, until brown all over, 30-40 minutes.
To Make the Sauce:
- Reduce the oven to 375 degrees.
- Mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl and 'frost' the top and sides of the cauliflower. Return to the oven for about 5-7 minutes or just until the cheese has started to melt. Garnish with chopped parsley if desired.
- To serve, cut into slices.
Enjoy some of the other creative cauliflower dishes from my Food Network friends!
- Hey Grill Hey: Grilled Cauliflower Steaks with Burst Tomato Salad
- Devour: 4 Sneaky Ways to Replace Carbs with Cauliflower
- The Wimpy Vegetarian: Curried Cauliflower “Risotto” with Apples
- Taste with the Eyes: Not Your Average Crudités Platter
- Healthy Eats: All the Ways to Eat Cauliflower
- In Jennie’s Kitchen: Turmeric & Ginger Roasted Cauliflower
- The Mom 100: Sauteed and Braised Cauliflower with Mustard Seeds and Green Peppercorns
- Swing Eats: Cauliflower Fritters With Cheese, Jalapeño And Cilantro (Gluten-Free)
- The Lemon Bowl: Za’atar Crusted Cauliflower Steaks
- Creative Culinary: Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan and Cheddar Cheese Frosting (You’re Here!)
- FN Dish: 7 Cauliflower Recipes That Aren’t Quite What They Seem
Do you think its possible to do the boiling hours before roasting up to 1 day before roasting? Last year for friendsgiving (more of a party with 50 ppl) I only made 3 heads and they were devoured before I had a chance to take a photo even! This year I plan on making 6 heads instead–hence I’m wondering if part of the prep can be done ahead of time or not.
I don’t think that’s a problem. If you refrigerate them just make sure they come to room temperature before you finish so they are warm enough when done. And WOW…6 heads!! So glad you love the recipe and Happy Friendsgiving!
Her part in the short film made me cry!!!! Shes an amazing little actress. I wonder how old she is because her mom won’t let her read THG.
Oh my goodness, how I love roasted cauliflower but man oh man, this sounds outstanding! Way better than any version I’ve made so far. I’ll be making this recipe this week for sure! Yum!
I seriously loved it so much that I served a simple lettuce salad on the side. No reason to spoil the goodness and fill myself up with steak. 🙂
This looks amazing. I have only had my grandmother’s steamed vegi plate with cauliflower. I will have to show this to her. Do you have any recipes for green bean or tatertot casserole?
I’ve done a search since I have a couple I love; the homemade version of Green Bean Casserole…it’s the best! https://creative-culinary.com/?s=green+bean
OMG, I remember a recipe like that. It was from a blender cook book, you put mayo, mustard & cheese in the blender & slathered it over the cauliflower. Update looks good.
That was pretty much it Cyndi…this is definitely a bit more work but the results are more than a bit more better! 🙂
Awesome improvement to a classic! I am adding Panko to the topping for a little more crunchy.
That’s how I felt too; a bit more work but the end result was worth every second!
Sounds like an awesome recipe. Will try very soon. Many thanks.
You’re welcome Ingrid; we finished it off in one meal it was so good.
this sounds like a delicious recipe. I love cauliflower anyway. I will try this soon. please add me to your network so I can receive more like this. BOB
Bob; would love to have you as part of my network but it’s best if you sign up yourself as confirmation notices come to you. For email notices, visit http://www.feedblitz.com/f?Track=http://feeds.feedblitz.com/creativeculinary&Publisher=20768857 or if you use a Reader; go here http://feeds.feedblitz.com/creativeculinaryblog. Thanks for visiting!
i do not read novels i read cookbooks and recipies
Love the recipes very great pics and looking forward to more…Thanks
Thank you Joan; glad to have you here at my virtual table!
I am so glad to find a sight that has new stuff. This looks yummy and I will try it.
And I’m always glad to have a new reader Kathy; hope you enjoy!
I am so glad I found this website. Recipes look amazing. I am making this cauliflower tonight.
I’m glad you did too Carol; hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
I should have eaten it when I had the chance. I thought I will heat it up when we sat down for lunch then forgot. Sigh!
Oh that cheese on top is simply too good to resist.
I know…my mistake too for not remembering to take it out. I’ll do it again for you!
Just thought I’d stop by your blog and I’m so glad I did. I absolutely love cauliflower and am always looking for new recipes and low and behold – here it is! Right now my favorite is a hot, peppery, garlicy recipe and I wanted to do something different.
I’ll try it this week-end and let you know. Take care for now.
Hi Back…love you jumped over! I do a cocktail every Friday too if you enjoy a sip every now and then!
Love the idea of braising this. But the best part has to be that cheese frosting. Doesn’t matter what kind of frosting-when someone says frosting I am on it! This looks so good, Barb!
Barbara, this looks delicious! Cauliflower is an under-used vegetable methinks!
This looks delicious. Cheese, mustard and mayo – what a dynamite combo.
Right? Spoonworthy but even better heated on some cauliflower!
I don’t recall Frosted Cauliflower! We mostly had steamed cauliflower with a yummy cheese sauce. I, and my sisters, of course eat it just for the cheese sauce.
But this! Wow. This is a must-do.
I’m just sure you would love this; a bit more prep than I use to do but the flavor was worth it.
I don’t remember Frosted Cauliflower, although from your description it does sound like something I’ve seen before (but never made). But who cares when this beauty is around? What a fun recipe. Looks great, and just from reading the recipe I know the flavor is terrific. Thanks.
I actually think I must have done that here in CO first but then I’ve heard from others more Midwest who know of it. It’s one of those oldies but goodies so happy to spread the love!
I just love how that beautiful cauliflower is peaking out of the braising liquid in your pot. The color of that pot is lovely too. I think this would be a great meatless Monday meal all by itself and I am going to suggest this to a friend who wanted more ideas for meatless meals for Fridays during lent.
Thanks Holly and I agree; that sauce makes it a much more hearty veggie dish. And a good one. 🙂
Barb, I saw the whole cauliflower on your Instagram feed last night and hope it was going to be Frosted Cauliflower! It must be a. Midwest thing because I was first introduced to it when I lived in Ohio. It is a staple at our Easter table ever since. I use cheddar cheese but I’ll switch it up this year and try your recipe. Love Frosted Cauliflower!
I love how some things are so regional don’t you? This is a really nice version Liz; hope you do try it!
Love the look of this recipe Barb! And I especially love the vintage aluminum serving “pot”–so delightful, I am pinning this for better times.
Thanks Wendy; I love that pot too…think I got it at Saver’s for a buck or two. Can’t really bake in it but it sure looked pretty on the table!
I love the pot too Wendy; think it was from a trip to a Saver’s store…so REALLY cheap! Love those finds. Hoping better times are soon.
This looks amazing! I’m not much on goat’s cheese so I’m glad you made your adjustment. I could eat a whole one of these myself.
I must have been thinking of you!
Dang, Barb! I love everything about this. And that’s really all I have to say except that I’ll be ordering a head of cauliflower from the Carolina Grown delivery service so I can make this baby myself!
That’s pretty much exactly how I felt Jenni; let me know what you think!
Wow…. I am so fascinated by this method of braising the cauliflower. Who would have thought? I can see how delicious this would be even without the cheese sauce, but then cheese sauce just makes everything better doesn’t it?
I know right? Poor mistreated cauliflower never got wine before in this house! Add cheese? Amazing.
That is a work of art. I think I prefer your original version!
Thanks so much Mimi!
I’m the same way. I’ll get something in my head and John will say, “Maybe we could try…” and it’s always “no, I’ll do that next time but this time, I want this.” He just nods. 🙂
I can see why you wanted this. I’ll go light on the heat too.
I changed the cheese topping up and love the Parmesan but you got me; I had a vision in my head and it had to be THIS! 🙂