As soon as I saw Mexican chef Pati Jinich prepare this dish on her PBS show, I had to make it. 🙂 I bought beautiful purple cauliflower and purple broccoli at the farm stand to make it extra special. We ate it with Mexican-Style Chipotle-Lime Pork Cutlets.
The salty, cheesy sauce was absolutely incredible. I loved how the vegetables were sliced into steaks instead of florets as well. I trimmed the tough outer portion of each stem but would remove even more next time to make that portion more tender.
This recipe was adapted from Pati’s Mexican Table and patijinich.com, via kcet.org. It was on an episode featuring dishes inspired by Isla Mujeres. I substituted creme fraiche for the Mexican crema. I also modified the method and proportions. Amazing!
Yield: Serves 6
For the Vegetables:
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (I used 2 limes)
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (I used 1 large naval orange)
- 3 chopped chiles de arbol or 1/2 to 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for brushing/drizzling
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds broccoli, cut into 1/4″ vertical slices, including thick part of stem (I used 2 large heads)
- 2 pounds cauliflower, cut into 1/4″ vertical slices, including thick part of stem (I used 1 large head)
For the Queso Cojita Dressing:
- 1/2 cup crumbled queso cotija
- 2/3 cup Mexican crema or creme fraîche
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used Canola oil)
- 2 tsp sherry vinegar
- 2 T water
- 2 medium garlic cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
To Prepare the Vegetables:
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. ( I set my oven to convection roast.)
- Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a glass measuring cup with a spout, mix the lime juice, orange juice, olive oil, red pepper flakes (or chile de arbol), 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
- Place the cauliflower and broccoli steaks on the prepared baking sheets in a single layer, making sure that they are not crowded.
- Evenly pour the orange juice mixture all over the vegetables.
- Place in the oven and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping halfway through, until well roasted and considerably charred. Remove from the oven and set aside.
To Make the Dressing & To Serve:
- While the vegetables are roasting, combine the queso cotija, Mexican crema (or creme fraîche), vegetable oil, sherry vinegar, water, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in the jar of a blender or mixer. Puree until smooth. (I used a Vitamix.)
- Serve the broccoli and cauliflower on a large platter and ladle the queso cotija right on top, or let your guests spoon sauce onto their plates and dip their vegetables in the sauce to their liking. (I served the sauce in a bowl on the side.)