I’ll be honest. I am not a fan of cauliflower. To me, it’s the bottom rung on the ladder of cruciferous vegetables. I despise cauliflower rice, and raw cauliflower gags me. But one evening, a chef friend of mine made me a cauliflower steak for dinner. Ever gracious, I took a deep breath and a steak knife and took my first bite. Well, I guess the rest is history, as they say since I’m writing a recipe for cauliflower steaks!
I chose to pan-sear the steaks to get that nice brown crust, and then I finished them off in the oven to speed up the cooking process. I also used safflower oil to cook with since it has a high smoke point of 501°, to be exact. Olive oil has a medium smoke point cannot be heated past 405°. Fat begins to break when heated past its smoking point, releasing free radicals and a substance called acrolein, the chemical that gives burnt foods their acrid flavor and aroma. Think watering eyes, a stinky kitchen, and bitter, scorched food.
The critical thing to note in this recipe is how to stem and cut the cauliflower. I found that removing the outer green leaves and most but not all of the stem is crucial. Trim off the bottom of the cauliflower stem but make sure to keep the core intact. I find that one large head of cauliflower makes about three 1 1/2 ” steaks. To ensure flat sides, I trim the outer edges of the cauliflower on each side-taking off about an inch and a half. Slice carefully.
If you make the steaks be sure to tag me and let me know how you like them! Enjoy!
This cauliflower steak is so flavorful and quite filling! Be sure to buy a large head to ensure decent size steaks. And using Montreal steak seasoning is a perfect way to spice them up! You can top with a variety of roasted vegetables and creamy mild tasting white beans for protein!
1 large head of cauliflower, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2″ steaks (see note)
Heat a cast-iron skillet or other oven-safe, heavy bottom frying pan over medium-high heat. When warm add, two tablespoons of safflower oil.
Brush each side of the cauliflower steaks with oil and sprinkle with Montreal seasoning.
Carefully add steaks to a frying pan and sear each side until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes per side.
When steaks are golden brown, remove the pan from the heat put directly in the oven for approximately 8-10 minutes, or until fork tender.
Carefully remove pan from oven. Plate cauliflower steaks and drizzle with chimichurri sauce.
*This oil is high in vitamin E; one tablespoon contains 28% of a person’s daily recommended intake of the nutrient. It has a high smoke point and doesn’t have a strong flavor, which means it won’t overwhelm a dish.
One of the first things you learn in culinary school, or in any professional kitchen worth its salt, is how to make the five classic French “Mother Sauces.” I am a sucker for these sauces, with my favorite being the béchamel. This white sauce is versatile and can be used in various pasta dishes or as a drizzle over roasted vegetables. It also serves as a base for my other favorite sauce, the Mornay, aka the béchamel sauce plus cheese. I love a good vegan fondue. But enough about the white sauces. We are here to talk about the classic brown sauces, and my friends, this is a labor of love.
Sauce Espagnole and demi-glace are both rich brown sauces, but the latter derives from the first. After a Sauce Espagnole has been made, it can easily be used in a 1:1 ratio with brown stock, then reduced by half and finished with wine—resulting in an intensely flavored demi-glace sauce. It can be stirred into soups, stews, and risottos.
A demi-glace is a brown stock reduced by prolonged simmering combined with an Espagnole sauce or one of the five classic mother sauces of French cuisine. A classic demi-glace is made with veal, but beef and poultry is sometimes used. But we are using a combination of hearty vegetables! The “demi,” meaning half, signifies that the reduced stock (glace) is combined with the Espagnole sauce in a half-and-half ratio.
You can use whatever you have on hand—provided you combine sweet vegetables with more savory plants for balance. Use too much of the sweet stuff, and the demi could become way too sweet and syrupy.
1 head garlic, sliced in half (don’t worry about peeling)
1 lemon, washed and sliced in half width-wise
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp whole peppercorns
6 cups water
1/2 cup dry red wine (sherry or cabernet is preferred)
Toss vegetables and peppercorns in a large bowl with tomato paste, coating well. Oil bottom of pan—this step is optional but will prevent sticking. Transfer to a deep hotel pan or other deep (at least 4″ oven safe pan. Place vegetables in the oven and roast for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Check your veggies every 20 minutes or so, stirring and rotating as needed to prevent edges from burning.
After roasting remove from oven. Add wine, scraping any brown bits. These caramelized morsels of concentrated juice, called the fond—literally, the foundation—will enrich the stock from the bottom of the pan. Carefully, add 6 cups water to vegetables and return to oven for 30 to 40 minutes.
Strain the stock through a sieve into another pot, pressing the vegetables with the back of a ladle to extract all the juices.
Over high heat, combine 1 part Espagnole to 1 part Vegetable stock, boil for 10 minutes or until reduced by half, stirring occasionally.