Cauliflower Queso Fundido
- Prep Time 10 minutes
- Cook Time 33 minutes
- Estimated Cost $8.50
- 41 Comments
I almost didn't post this recipe.
I wasn't thrilled with the above photo of the finished dish (we were in a rush to eat dinner and the light wasn't the best, so I just snapped a few and figured I'd edit them to my liking, but none were particularly great), and if you know anything about food blogs, you know the photos are a pretty big part of why people are compelled to read a post.
But then, two bites into my first Cauliflower Queso Fundido-stuffed taco, embellished with a little guacamole, cilantro, and a few slivers of bright, crunchy shallot, I decided you needed to have this recipe ASAP, and I needed to get over myself. Maybe I'll reshoot the photos one day when I have more time (or next week, when I inevitably make this again). Or maybe I won't, and that will be okay too.
Sometimes it's hard not to overthink appearances. If you spend much time on social media (and if you're reading this, I'm guessing you do--or you are an older relative of mine who checks this website every few weeks to see what I'm up to, and if so, hi! I love you!) you are familiar with the bizarre, Instagram-filtered, scarily perfect world it can sometimes feel like. I almost never do my nails, but on the wrong day, a scroll through my Insta feed will have me convinced I need a gel French manicure STAT (or to get bangs, or to lose 15 pounds, or to start using self-tanner, or to somehow afford an all-white marble kitchen re-do...). I love looking at pretty pictures, but I don't always love how too much of it makes me feel about my own life.
But then comes a realization: photos are just moments. They're never the whole picture, so to speak. And sure, in the right moment, in the right light, with the right filter, things can *seem* intimidatingly perfect. The important thing to remember is that most likely, the reality is flawed, dimpled, messy, and yeah, maybe a little ugly, because that's how life works. But in this case, no bad lighting or less-than-beautiful beauty shot can take away from just how delicious this cheesy, melted, slightly spicy cauliflower thing is.
It starts, as so many of my favorite things do, with a rimmed baking sheet of cauliflower and chopped onions in olive oil with salt and pepper.
Roast 'em until they're tender and brown.
Then layer them in a shallow, heavy-bottomed pot (or a cast iron or a baking dish), with roasted green chilies and cheese.
One more layer.
Pop it under the broiler and top with fresh cilantro.
You could just dive in with a fork or a crunchy chip, but my fave way to eat this is rolled in warm corn tortillas with all the fixings. You won't miss the meat.
P.S. This is a slab of marble, not an actual marble countertop. I don't know any bloggers who actually have fancy marble countertops. We're literally faking every surface we purport to put food on. Who eats tacos right off the counter anyway?
- 1 medium head cauliflower, cored and cut into florets $2
- 1 medium onion, diced $1
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Pantry
- 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper Pantry
- 1 4-ounce can diced green chilies $2
- 1 1/2 cups shredded jack, pepperjack, or cheddar cheese $3.50
- chopped cilantro, for garnish Optional
Recipe Serves 2-3
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Toss the cauliflower and onions with the olive oil and salt and pepper.
- Spread on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Roast for 20 minutes, until the cauliflower begins to brown.
- Stir the pan, then return to the oven for 5-7 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
- While the cauliflower cools, preheat the broiler to high.
- In a shallow oven-proof or baking dish, spread half of the roasted cauliflower-onion mixture on the bottom of the pan.
- Spoon on half of the green chilies.
- Sprinkle on half of the shredded cheese.
- Repeat with the remaining ingredients for the second layer.
- Broil for 3-5 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned on top.
- Top with the cilantro, if using.
- Serve hot, with chips or warm tortillas.