Pears and bleu cheese have a natural affinity for each other. They are a perfect pair (pun intended!), so to speak. But, you might be rather surprised to learn that they’re also up for a threesome, with that sexy minx, cauliflower. Inspiration is a funny thing. It can come from all sorts of places. Like the pears, just sitting there in the bowl, and the wedge of bleu cheese drowsing nearby. The Goddess had sort of an epiphany…a moment, if you will. I’ve been craving cauliflower recently. I love the stuff. Who craves cauliflower? Chocolate, yes. But, cauliflower? What can I tell you? I’ve always loved cauliflower, and I’ve been roasting at least a head of cauliflower every week. Roasted cauliflower is just so damn good. And it’s easy, too. I change up the flavors from time-to-time. Sometimes I toss shredded parmesan on the cauliflower, as well as bacon bits. Sometimes I drizzle with pomegranate molasses, honey or maple syrup, particularly when I use a salty cheese. So, there were those pears and their sweetness with the salty bleu cheese seemed like it might be an interesting combination. I decided to give it a try. The flavors worked surprisingly well together…really really delicious, in fact. I will absolutely be making this again.
When the cauliflower is cooked to your taste, turn off the oven. Remove the pan from the oven, and toss on the bleu cheese. Then, slide the pan back into the oven for a couple of minutes. You want the cheese to barely melt. Just a reminder that is it much easier to grate cold cheese. For this, you want a drier bleu cheese, even one that’s been hanging around the cheese drawer just a tad too long. You want it to have some “bite” to it.
Roasted Cauliflower with Pears and Bleu Cheese
- 1 head cauliflower, separated into florets
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil or bacon fat
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large pears, cored and diced (I don’t peel them)
- 3-5 tablespoons shredded bleu cheese
Heat the oven to 450°F. Place the florets in a heavy skillet; drizzle with the olive oil (or bacon fat). Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the pan in the oven. Roast for about 5-6 minutes. Toss and return the pan to the oven. Continue to roast until the cauliflower is just tender, about 4-6 minutes longer. Remove the pan from the oven, add the diced pear and return to the oven for 2 minutes. Toss. Turn off the oven; remove the skillet from the oven. Sprinkle with the bleu cheese; return the cauliflower to the oven. Let stand for 2-5 minutes or until the bleu cheese is just barely melted.
NOTE: How much bleu cheese you will use depends on the cheese and how much you like on the cauliflower. You can garnish each serving with chopped toasted pecans, if you wish.
Roasted Cauliflower with Pears and Bleu Cheese Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2017. All rights reserved.