If you’re not used to vegetarian cooking, thinking of unique but still satisfying dinner ideas can be tricky. I mean, there’s only so many times you can make portobello mushroom burgers before you or your vegetarian dinner guests start actually turning into portobello mushrooms…at least, that’s what it feels like. But Giada De Laurentiis has a decadent vegetarian dinner recipe that will please everyone at the dinner table — a cheddar cheese-stuffed roasted cauliflower that’s covered in crispy Parmesan breadcrumbs. Say so long to hummus platters, boring spaghetti marinara, and those dreaded slimy portobellos.
Like all of the best recipes, vegetarian or not, De Laurentiis’ crispy cheddar cauliflower combines a show stopping presentation while actually delivering on big flavor.
There’s something striking about seeing a whole head of cauliflower roasted in a cast iron skillet and presented to the table for dinner, in the same way that everyone oohs and ahhs over a perfectly bronzed turkey or a juicy prime rib when it’s brought to the table.
The cauliflower is blanched before it’s roasted, ensuring that every bite is creamy. Then, you gently separate the florest, stuffing white cheddar cheese between them at regular intervals. The cauliflower is topped with a combination of butter-toasted breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and basil, and popped in the oven to roast.
When the cauliflower is removed from the oven it’s coated in a crispy golden-brown Parmesan crust, and as you slice or pull florets from the head, they’re covered in dreamy melted white cheddar.
You can serve this as a vegetarian entree alongside a bright green salad, or put it on a platter with some toasted bread and let people make their own cheesy cauliflower toasts as a fun appetizer. Any leftovers? Toss them with pasta for a quick meal the next day. That being said, we’ll be surprised if you don’t finish the whole thing!
In search of more summer recipes? Giada De Laurentiis has plenty: