Cauliflower Poutine

A much better-for-the-body version of the classic, this poutine riff uses cauliflower instead of fries and a kabocha squash gravy. It's plant-filled, can be vegan with one minor modification, and is just as satisfying as the original.


  • Small kabocha squash
  • Oil of choice for roasting and sauteeing
  • Medium sweet onion
  • 2 c veggie stock
  • Generous salt and black pepper throughout
  • Large head of cauliflower
  • Few big handfuls of cheese curds
  • Couple sprigs of thyme


  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. Cut the kabocha squash around its equator and scoop out the seeds.
  3. Roast the squash halves cut-side down on an oiled sheet tray for 30-45 minutes until very soft. They can vary greatly in size, which will determine how long they take to roast.
  4. When the squash is finished, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool at least partially for easier handling.
  5. Cut your cauliflower into florets. For the bigger florets, cut them in halves or thirds for even cooking.
  6. Lay the cauliflower florets on an oiled sheet tray in a single layer; they won't brown if they're overlapping. Salt generously.
  7. Roast for about 30-45 minutes until tender and browned.
  8. While the cauliflower is roasting, dice the onion. Then caramelize it in a soup pot with a dash of oil and liberal salt and pepper.
  9. When the onion is done, add ~2 c of veggie stock and start bringing it to a boil. Add additional salt and pepper.
  10. Scoop out the inside flesh of the squash and add it to the soup pot. Note that you can eat the skin of a kabocha, and it's actually delicious, so please save it! My suggestion is to treat it like potato skins and load them with all your favorite toppings.
  11. Once everything has come to a boil, turn the heat off and blend it all with an immersion blender until a very thick, creamy gravy develops. A standard blender is fine here too, but you'll need to work in batches.
  12. Assess the consistency of your gravy. If you want it to be a little looser, add more liquid until you get to your desired consistency. Add additional salt and pepper as you see fit.
  13. Simmer the gravy for another 10-15 minutes after blending, or until the cauliflower is done.
  14. Once the cauliflower is done, lay it out on a serving platter or in a smaller sheet tray with a rim. Smother it with a few ladles of gravy. Top it with cheese curds and some freshly-ground black pepper, then garnish with a few leaves of fresh thyme.