Cheesy Cauliflower Toasts
Trust Ina Garten to take two big food trends — cauliflower and toast — and combine them into something completely fresh. This recipe, adapted from her 2018 cookbook, “Cook Like a Pro,” is a bit like an open-face grilled cheese sandwich with a nutty layer of roasted cauliflower, and spiked with nutmeg and paprika. We made it vegetarian by leaving out the prosciutto, and also lightened up on the cheese. It makes a vegetarian dinner with soup and salad, or a good snack with drinks.
- Serves: 6 persons
- 1head cauliflower, leaves and thick core removed
- ¼cup olive oil
- ¼teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8ounces whole-milk ricotta or mascarpone
- 4ounces Gruyère cheese, grated
- ¼teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 6slices rustic sourdough-type bread
- Freshly grated Parmesan, for topping
- Sweet paprika, for topping
- Finely chopped chives or parsley, for garnish (optional)
Step 1Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the cauliflower into 1/2-inch clusters. Transfer to a sheet pan and toss with the oil, red-pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Spread florets out into a single layer and roast, stirring every 10 minutes, until tender and browned in spots, 25 to 30 minutes.
Step 2Meanwhile, stir ricotta or mascarpone in a large bowl until smooth and fluffy. Mix in Gruyère, nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and set aside. In a toaster, toast the bread until golden.
Step 3When cauliflower is done, remove from the sheet pan and set aside to cool. Line the pan with foil and reduce the oven to 375 degrees.
Step 4Arrange the toasts on the lined sheet pan. Stir the cauliflower into the ricotta mixture, then divide among the toasts, spreading to the edges. Dust with Parmesan and paprika. (Recipe can be made up to this point and held at room temperature for up to 2 hours.)
Step 5Bake until toast edges and topping are browned, 10 to 15 minutes. (If desired, broil 2 to 3 minutes to brown and melt the top.) Let cool slightly. Sprinkle with herbs, if using, then cut into halves or quarters and serve immediately.