Cauliflower-Carrot Bake

Cauliflower is in season!  When I pass by a pile, my hands get a sensation of yearning.  I wanna, wanna.  And, no, it isn’t just the great seasonal price.  Truly.  For example, I don’t get this needy feeling around the bins of broccoli, which are also in season and equally cheap. Maybe cauliflower looks like a comfort food?  Like mashed potatoes?  Or cream of wheat?  Whatever…I’ll leave it to the food psychologists. (Photo by FreeFoto)

Anyway…I want to buy lots of cauliflower, but what to do with it all?  I can always make soup, but variety is the spice of life.  Hence I was happy to find a cauliflower recipe by Stephanie Bostic, a fellow food-blogger and author of the newly published cookbook, One Bowl: Simple Healthy Recipes for OneHer recipe, “Carrot Cauliflower Purée,” adds a subtle flavouring of thyme, dijon mustard, and lemon to the vegetables.  Delicious.  Thank you, Stephanie.

This recipe also reminded me of a cauliflower recipe that my husband makes for meals when children, their partners, and grandchildren are coming over.  The cauliflower is baked after being first puréed with butter, milk, and parmesan cheese.  It’s a great-tasting dish, except for two problems: it doesn’t taste like cauliflower any more, and it’s loaded with calories.  But…but, I thought, why not refashion Stephanie’s recipe to bring it beyond a side dish and into a main course for lunch by baking the purée with a topping of cheese?

So here it is…with a few tweaks to the original to accommodate my taste and kitchen.

Printer-friendly recipe

Makes 2-6 servings


  • 1 small head cauliflower with leaves removed
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. butter (I used Earth Balance)
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice, to taste
  • ½ cup sheep romano cheese, grated
  • Cooking spray


  1. Prepare the cauliflower by cutting it in quarters. (In the original recipe, you core the cauliflower, leaving it whole but removing the stem and base.  I happen to like the base as much as the florets.  Cutting the head in quarters makes it cook faster.)
  2. Put cauliflower, onion, and carrot into the top pot of a steamer.
  3. Cover and steam for 15-20 minutes, or until a knife goes easily into the cauliflower base.
  4. In a food processor, mix the mustard, thyme, and garlic.
  5. Add the vegetables and purée until the mixture is as smooth as you prefer it.
  6. Add lemon juice to taste.
  7. Spray a 9″ x 9″ pan with cooking spray.
  8. Layer the purée into the pan.
  9. Top the purée with grated cheese.
  10. Bake in 325° F oven for 20 minutes.

For Weight Watchers: The total point value for this dish is 7 points on the Points and PointsPlus plans.

Note: If you like this recipe, you may also like Carrot-Parsnip Purée with Cauliflower “Breadcrumbs.

16 thoughts on “Cauliflower-Carrot Bake

  1. Wow, I’m going to make that the next time I have a cauliflower and am willing to have the oven on! Was that an aged pecorino romano, basically a hard grating cheese, or a younger version more like a cheddar?

    I had my first encounter with cauliflower cheese not too long ago. While I delighted in it, a healthier version is much appreciated. Perfect for a holiday meal, too. Thanks for the feature and mention.

  2. You’re welcome about the feature and mention and best of luck with the book. Yes, the cheese is an aged pecorina romano. So far that’s the closest I can come to parmesan cheese, and it’s nowhere near as pricey as the artisanal goat and sheep cheeses. I’m sure some of those would also be great but my pocketbook squeaks loudly.

  3. Cauliflower! Yes! Creamy and dreamy. Thank you for the ‘casserole’ idea… I seem to only think of cauliflower mashed, sauteed, or in a stew! Cheers! ~ Hoda

    • You’re welcome and thanks for commenting. And to think that cauliflower season is almost upon us again! By the way, I have a post for Cauliflower soup and one for Cauliflower-Turnip Soup. I like them both cold with a little bit of yogurt added.

  4. I’m always on the lookout for cauliflower recipes. I love that you lightened it up from your husband’s version. I have some hard gouda at home that I plan to grate on top.

  5. You and I are in the same boat…I am a little cauliflower crazed these days..! Check this out, I made began ‘drumstick chicken wings’ using a cauliflower florette and leaving about a 1-2 inch stalk on it…it looked like a drumstick! Then I tossed it in a chicken wing seasoning….I chose a Thai spicy, sweet, sticky sauce then tossed in crushed peanuts…OH MY GOSH…out of this world 😉 The recipe is here:

    • Wow! That sounds terrific. Cauliflower is really useful. I use it as a base for pizza instead of bread dough and sometimes as breadcrumbs. But I still think there’s something about them that also has a psychological appeal.

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