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Delicious Dish: Cheesy Roasted Cauliflower that’s Healthy!

January 20th, 2011 No Comments

Obviously Nutritionista and I are both excited about cheese these days. The fact that she says cheese is healthy makes this recipe even more amazing.

I found this article in the NY Times in which the chef explains how her recipes evolve over time and for the seasons.  I change up my food depending on the weather, but usually I’m a by-the-book cook unless someone suggests changes.

When I made this dish the other day, I decided I’d use her recipe and sentiment as motivation to experiment a little on my own. Obviously roasting veggies isn’t rocket science so I figured this was a good place to start.

I think it turned out really well (possibly better than the original…).  But most importantly, I like feeling more confident in the kitchen.

The Original NYT Recipe

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 2 bunches watercress, large stems removed
  • 1/4 pound Gruyère, diced or grated (about 1 cup)
  • 2/3 cup toasted walnuts.

How I Changed It Up

  • Nixed the watercress – Whole Foods was out
  • Used baby spinach as the basis for salad
  • Added half a sweet onion
  • Picked up Raclette cheese (melts beautifully) as well as the Gruyère
  • Used red wine vinegar instead of sherry (altogether optional, read below)
  • Forgot about the walnuts all together

Super Simple To Make

(My additions are in parenthesis and italics.)

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, toss together the cauliflower (and thick-sliced onion), 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper (No need to really measure – less oil more pepper). Spread the cauliflower on a baking sheet in a single layer. (Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.) Roast, tossing occasionally, until tender and dark golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes (I like it hot and the heat also softens the spinach so I tossed immediately after pulling it out.)

2. (While the cauliflower is roasting) in a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar with the remaining salt and pepper, and then whisk in the remaining oil. (I only used a little of this, you really don’t need it if you don’t have the vinegar).

(Now: Cut up Gruyère in thin slices.  Cut up Raclette in cubes and put in small pan that will go in the oven.  When you remove the cauliflower, put the Raclette into the oven for 1-2 minutes until melted and almost bubbling.)

3. In a salad bowl, toss the watercress, cheese, nuts and warm cauliflower. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss until well combined. (Again, I did not use watercress or nuts.  Tossed cauliflower, Grueye cheese, and spinach in the salad bowl and used only a little of the dressing)

(Now: Portion out cauliflower salad and drizzle each with melted raclette. Serve immediately.)

Make it my way or create your own.  Unbelievably delicious for how easy roasting is!!! Serve with anything.

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