1 large head cauliflower (about 2 1/2 lb.)
4 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
1/2 cup grated Manchego or Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Garnishes: olive oil, pomegranate seeds, fresh thyme leaves
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 425°. Cut cauliflower into 2-inch florets; toss with olive oil and 1/2 tsp. salt. Arrange florets in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan. Wrap garlic cloves in aluminum foil, and place on jelly-roll pan with cauliflower.
Bake at 425° for 30 to 40 minutes or until cauliflower is golden brown, tossing cauliflower every 15 minutes.
Transfer cauliflower to a large Dutch oven. Unwrap garlic, and cool 5 minutes. Peel garlic, and add to cauliflower. Add stock, and bring to a simmer over medium heat; simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Let mixture cool 10 minutes.
Process cauliflower mixture, in batches, in a blender until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.
Return cauliflower mixture to Dutch oven; stir in milk, cheese, and remaining 1 tsp. salt. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Add pepper to taste.