Health Resources

Cauliflower Cheese Melts

PHOTO: JOHN VON PAMER
PHOTO: JOHN VON PAMER

If you seek out tips to prevent cancer, chances are you’ve heard/read about the power of cruciferous veggies. (broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, bok choy and others.) But, what makes this so powerful?

It seems that these veggies have specific anti-inflammatory (put out the fire) properties. One controlled study specifically linked cruciferous vegetables to a significant reduction of interleukin-6 (a pro-inflammatory protein found in chronic inflammation).

Making vegetables taste good is the next goal, and these cheesy cauliflower toasts will appeal to all ages and palettes.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup olive oil (cold pressed and extra virgin oil types are least processed)
  • 2 garlic cloves, fresh minced (for vegetables and spices grown under the earth, you may consider buying organically to avoid accumulating contaminants)
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Medium head of cauliflower, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slabs, possibly halved to make a total of 8 slabs (Use gold, purple or green cauliflower if available)
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins (optional, omit if you want to reduce sugar content)
  • 1/4 cup white wine (optional)
  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios (omega 7 fat rich- a good fat)
  • 8 1/2-inch-thick slices sourdough bread (substitute with gluten free version, for those who are gluten sensitive.  Or you may omit altogether, to control carbohydrate intake)
  • 4 oz.  Comte or Manchego cheese, cut into 8 slices (note: goat or sheep milk cheese may be better tolerated for some people.  Selected hormone and antibiotic free versions.  Organic or imported cheese from Europe meet these criteria)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped (fresh) parsley

 PREPARATION

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add the cauliflower slabs and toss to coat.
  3. Arrange the cauliflower on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes, flip the slabs, and bake another 10 to 20 minutes, until softened and toasty. Set aside to cool but keep the oven on.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, soak the raisins in wine or water for 10 minutes. Drain.
  5. In a small pan over medium-high heat, toast the pistachios, dry or with a little oil. Let cool on a paper towel, then chop coarsely.
  6. Lay the bread on the baking sheet and arrange the cauliflower on the bread, cutting it to fit as needed. Sprinkle with pistachios and raisins and top with the cheese.
  7. Bake until the cheese melts, 7 to 10 minutes.
  8. Top the toasts with chopped parsley and serve immediately.
 Adapted from Epicurious.Com