Cauliflower Steaks with Walnut Gremolata

Cauliflower is so beautiful when it’s prepared in steaks. This recipe uses the entire cauliflower and allows you to eat the very edible stem which ordinarily would be discarded. I’ve served these as a vegetarian option when catering - but I’ve learned to make extra! Meat eaters love them too!

When serving as a side dish, carefully cut the steaks in half - top through the stem. This is a perfect Holiday side. You can make the gremolata and even finish the steaks ahead of time. Just reheat the purée and the steaks for 5 minutes at 350 degrees before serving.

Yield: 2

Cauliflower Steaks with Walnut and Caper Gremolata

This recipe uses the entire cauliflower. The steaks are beautiful and the topping is a flavorful and unique. It's a lovely side dish, but also a worthy centerpiece to a meal.

prep time: 30 minscook time: 15 minstotal time: 45 mins

ingredients

Gremolata
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons large capers
  • 1 jalapeno chili, minced
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped parsley
  • 3 tablespoons raisins, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon white or red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • kosher salt to taste
Cauliflower
  • 1 small cauliflower
  • kosher salt to taste
Purée
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons brown rice miso
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Toast walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once, until golden brown, 7-10 minutes.  Cool and coarsely chop.  Set aside.  Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees.
  3. Heat oil and capers in a small saucepan over medium high heat, swirling often, until capers burst and are golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes.  Carefully pour oil and capers into a small heatproof bowl; let cool.  Add in walnuts, pepper, parsley, raisins, vinegar, and lemon zest.  Season with salt.
  4. Remove the tough outer leaves from cauliflower head, leave on tender inner leaves.  Trim stem to create a flat base.  Resting the cauliflower on stem, cut in half from top to bottom, creating two lobes with stem attached.  Cut again, 1 1/4 inch from each cut edge,  to form  2 steaks.  The stems will hold the steaks together.  Set the steaks aside and coarsely chop the remaining florets.  
  5. Cook florets in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until very tender, 6-8 minutes.   Drain well, then process in a food processor with garlic, rice vinegar, miso, and 1 tablespoon of water until smooth.  Season with salt.  Put in an ovenproof container.  Set aside.
  6. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add butter and swirl until melted, then add cauliflower steaks.  Cook until steaks are deep golden brown.  Turn steaks and season with kosher salt.  Transfer skillet to oven and roast until cauliflower stems are fork-tender, about 15 minutes.  Put puree in the oven for the last 5 minutes to warm.
  7. Scoop half of the puree onto a plate and top with a cauliflower steak.  Top the steak with gremolata and serve.  
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Mark LaFavor