Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Ancho Chili Beurre Blanc

Francois and I are back in Tucson and loving the warmer-than-midwest weather and striking sunset colors. Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which may mean that your hands will soon be as full as mine, either figuratively in the kitchen, or literally with food. In my case, both!

This year for friends and also for Happy Belly After I'm developing an entourage of Southwest-themed cuisine to celebrate. Alongside the centerpiece of the feast will be today’s recipe for roasted cauliflower with a tequila-infused ancho chili beurre blanc — my take on a classic French white sauce.

A whole cauliflower head is given a salty-spicy rub and is then baked to a crisp perfection before being glazed with a deliciously savory sauce. Provecho!

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Ancho Chili Beurre Blanc

Preheat the over to 400˚ 

Make the Ancho chili beurre blanc – In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook for 5-7 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic, ancho chili  and chiltepin and cook for 3 more minutes. Add the white wine and cook until the wine evaporates. 

Scrape the mixture into a high speed blender. Add the tequila and vegetable broth. Bland until smooth. Strain through a wire mesh strainer back into the saucepan. Cook until the mixture is reduced by half. Whisk in the vegan butter, 1 tbsp at a time. Season with salt and pepper.

Bake the cauliflower – Season the cauliflower with a spicy salt.  I’m in love with the new Momofuku Tingly seasoned salt but a chili lime salt or Tajin will work! Brush the Ancho beurre blanc over the cauliflower. Place the cauliflower in a lidded 4 quart Dutch oven. Pour 1/2 cup of broth in the bottom of the pan. Cover and bake for 35-45 minutes, depending on how large the cauliflower is. Uncover and bake for 10 additional minutes to brown. Broil, if necessary for darker color. 

To serve – Warm the sauce and pour into a serving dish. Place the cauliflower over the sauce. Cut in wedges. 

serves 4-6

  • 1 large cauliflower, washed and trimmed
  • spicy salt 
  • ½ cup vegetable broth


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 dried ancho chili, stemmed and seeded
  • 3 -5 chiltepin chilies
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 tbsp tequila
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 6 tbsp vegan butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • the juice of one lime