Secret Recipe Club: Cauliflower Apple Manchego Melts

Roasted cauliflower and tart fall apples topped with melted manchego cheese atop toasted bolillo roll slices.

Cauliflower Apple Manchego Melts -

¡Hola, mis amigos! Welcome back to another edition of The Secret Recipe Club. This month my assignment is The Wimpy Vegetarian, written by Susan who also happens to be our group's hostess with the mostess. Susan describes herself as a mostly (wimpy) vegetarian married to a mostly carnivore. Her blog is filled with tantalizing vegetarian recipes which also include tips on how to adjust for meat lover's. Comforting fall-inspired recipes like Lightened Maple Carrot Flan, Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potatoes, and Mexican Street Corn Tart were just a few of the recipes that caught my eye.

I ended up choosing Susan's Cauliflower Apple Cheddar Melts, because I'm still slightly obsessed with cauliflower, and the addition of apples, pepitas, and dried cranberries seemed just perfect for the cooler fall weather. And was it ever! I had initially planned on serving these as a snack to nibble on before lunch during a quiet weekend at home, but they were so good, we finished them all off and I never got around to serving lunch because these were so filling.

Easy Fall Appetizer with Cauliflower, Apple and Manchego Cheese -

Cauliflower Apple Cheddar Melts 
(recipe from The Wimpy Vegetarian)


  • 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter, divided 
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 3 large bolillo rolls, cut in 1-inch slices 
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 
  • 2 apples, cored and thinly sliced 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries 
  • 1/4 cup pepitas (hulled)
  • 4 to 6 oz. manchego cheese, thinly sliced 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a baking sheet lightly with cooking spray.

Toss 1/4 cup of the melted butter with the cauliflower florets in a large bowl. Season with salt and black pepper. Arrange cauliflower florets in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake at 350F° for 12 to 15 minutes. Turn cauliflower florets over and let bake for an additional 8 to 10 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven. Do not turn the oven off!

While cauliflower is roasting in the oven, brush the bolillo slices with the remaining melted butter. Arrange slices, butter side-up on a large baking sheet; set aside.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add apple slices and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes until tender. Transfer apples slices to a heat-proof bowl or plate and return skillet to stove. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Stir in pepitas and dried cranberries; sauté for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

To assemble the melts, arrange 3 to 4 slices of apple per each slice of bolillo roll. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of pepita filling atop the apple slices. Arrange a few roasted cauliflower florets over filling and top with pieces of manchego cheese slices. Bake at 350°F for about 5 to 7 minutes until the cheese has melted and turned a light golden brown. Remove from oven. Enjoy!

*Tip: To make this snack into a light lunch, top bolillo with thin slices of turkey breast before adding the apples, pepita mix, cauliflower, and manchego cheese.

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