By Domenica Chef Alon Shaya
“This is a great dish to share as an appetizer for three or four people. The beauty with which Mother Nature has gifted this vegetable does not change from earth to plate. That is what I love most about whole vegetable cooking. I like to serve it with whipped goat feta from Bill Ryals, who raises goats at his farm, The Rocking R Dairy, in Mississippi.”
6 + 1/2 cups cold water 2 + 1/3 cups white wine 4 tbsp. kosher salt 1 whole bay leaf juice of 1 lemon 4 tsp. crushed red chili flakes 2 + 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar 2 tbsp. butter, unsalted 6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1 whole head cauliflower, green leaves on bottom trimmed off 1 cup heavy cream 1 + 1/2 cups goat feta (a good Bulgarian feta would be a fine substitute) 1 cup goat cheese 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese 1/3 cup cream cheese 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
To Poach and Roast the Cauliflower
Yields one large head of cauliflower
Preheat an oven to 500ºF. In a 4-quart sauce pan, combine the water, wine, salt, bay leaf, lemon, red chili flakes, sugar, butter, and olive oil with one head of cauliflower. Place on medium heat and bring to a simmer. Let cook for approximately 15 minutes or until you can easily insert a knife through the center of the cauliflower. Be careful not to overcook it, or it will fall apart when removing it from the pan.
Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the cauliflower from the poaching liquid and place it onto a baking sheet. Place into the oven and cook for approximately 15 minutes, until it is golden all over the top.
Remove from the oven and drizzle with a little coarse sea salt and extra virgin olive oil. Serve with whipped goat feta cheese (recipe follows).
Whipped Goat Feta Cheese
Yields 2 cups
Combine cream, goat feta, goat cheese, mascarpone, cream cheese, and olive oil together in a blender and blend until smooth. It helps to place the cream in the blender first to allow the ingredients to incorporate evenly. Remove from the blender and chill well.