Who would ever have believed I would grow up to love — not just like — vegetables? As a kid, if it wasn’t corn or green beans, I didn’t want it. Perhaps even as a finicky 12 year old I might have scarfed up cauliflower if it had been fixed like this!
- 1 head of cauliflower, washed and broken or cut into small florets
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp. cracked black pepper
- 1/2 cup cream
- 2 oz. cream cheese
- 1 1/2 cup sliced or shredded cheddar cheese
- dash of salt
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and get out a large cookie sheet type pan.
Put the cauliflower florets into a bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over them, then toss until well-coated. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over them and toss again.
Place in a single layer on the cookie sheet and bake approximately 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until tender and slightly browned on the edges. (The actual length of time will depend upon how small you made the florets and how browned you like it. Check after 10 minutes and evaluate how it’s going.)
Time for the cheese sauce! You can make it while your cauliflower is baking so it’s done just in time. (I will readily admit that the roasted caulifower is also good eaten like popcorn, right out of the oven, so if you aren’t a cheese fan, just leave the cheese sauce off entirely. But I buy this incredible jalapeno cheddar at our local market and it makes a sauce good enough to make you want to lick the saucepan. Truth. Therefore, you should not expect the cheese sauce to get skipped if you are dining at my humble abode.)
Place your cream into a small saucepan over low heat (175 degrees). Add a dash of salt and warm the cream until it starts to bubble just a tiny bit. Don’t let it start bubbling wildly — stay in control! Immediately stir in the 2 oz. of cream cheese and keep stirring until it’s melted into the cream. Add your sliced or shredded cheddar (or jalapeno cheddar, if you can get it — or whatever similar cheese you love) and stir until it melts. Remove the pan from the heat. (BTW, if you start with a block of cheese, as I do, you simply want to slice it thinly enough that it will readily melt into the cream mixture.) If you use a silicone utensil for stirring, you will find your clean up is easier.
When we have guests, I like to put the hot cheese sauce into a gravy boat and allow each person to choose how much to ladle on, or whether to use any at all. When it’s just us, I go ahead and put the cheese sauce on the roasted cauliflower in the serving dish.
Need I remind you that cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable and it is high in nutrients and fiber? Best of all, it tastes fabulous when fixed like this!