Food & Drink Magazine

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan and Cheddar Cheese Frosting

By Creativeculinary @CreativCulinary

I used to make a recipe that was similar to this quite often many years ago. 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 if I recall it worked. 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 I’m trying to catch up on from this past year that I noticed an updated version of that old classic.

Roasted and Frosted Cauliflower |

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 much though so I’ve reduced them a bit…want more heat; go for it!

Roasted and Frosted Cauliflower |

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.

Roasted and Frosted Cauliflower |

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 and it was SO good.

Do you remember Frosted Cauliflower or am I dreaming?

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan and Cheddar Cheese Frosting
Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan and Cheddar Cheese Frosting
Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Cheese Sauce

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Cheese Sauce


  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 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:
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tsp whole grain mustard
  • 2 Tbsp chopped green onion
  • Pepper to taste
  • Parsley for Garnish (optional}


  1. 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.
  2. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
  3. 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.
  4. To Make the Sauce:
  5. Reduce the oven to 375 degrees.
  6. 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.
  7. To serve, cut into slices.
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