We fell in love with Jill Donenfeld’s new book, Better on Toast, and she was gracious enough to share a few of the recipes with Beekman 1802.

Raisins have a long shelf life and are great for a boost of energy. I was walking on a cold boardwalk, quite a ways from home, when a pang of hunger attacked. I was wearing my ski jacket—an ideal jacket for the beach in the winter and also ideal for storage with its plentiful pockets for goggles, headphones, keys, money, credit cards, lip balm, sunblock, and Starburst. There are always a few raisins tucked away somewhere (long pocket life?), too; same in this recipe—hidden and sweetly surprising.

Ingredients (serves 8)

1/4 cup olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon 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

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/4 cup white wine (optional)

1/4 cup shelled pistachios

8 1/2-inch-thick slices sourdough bread

4 ounces Comte or Manchego cheese, cut into 8 slices

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Additional Information

  • Prep Time: 20m
  • Cook Time: 35m
  • Total Time: 55m


  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 roasty. 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.


From Better on Toast by Jill Donenfeld. Copyright © 2015 by Jill A. Donenfeld. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.  Click here to get your own copy!

by Josh and Brent

Reader Comments

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This is, without a doubt, the worst recipe I’ve made in 2015. It manages to be expensive (pistachios: $9.00/lb; manchego cheese, $15/lb), wasteful (you can get just 2 real slabs per head of cauliflower), labor-intensive (80 min., including cleanup), incomplete (you need a second baking sheet for the bread, unless you want very soggy toast), but the result is a bland and unruly variation of a grilled cheese sandwich.


Cauliflower is quite the standout veggie these days! I hope to have my first crop of cauliflower this season! I can’t wait to try this! I love the idea of having it as a nice small evening meal with a glass of wine!


This recipe sounds great. I was just wondering since we do not use dairy, can you reccomend a substitute for the cheese?