Seared Cauliflower Steaks with Red Pepper-Walnut Sauce
As soon as I told you I was going to start bringing you more meat recipes to balance out all the veggie recipes I post, I’m publishing something that I’m calling a “steak” that is really cauliflower.
I know. I’m sorry / not sorry. Meatless Monday, y’all. When I’m not enjoying coconut risotto (sans the shrimp), I’m pretending cauliflower is a steak.
Have you ever tried sherry vinegar? It’s very expensive, but I happened across a free-to-me bottle after a recipe testing client re-imbursed me for a $16 bottle of it. I needed just a teaspoon of it for the recipe, but got to keep the whole bottle – score!
Of all of the vinegar in my cabinet (there are about 22 bottles), sherry vinegar has the most interesting flavor, and instantly enhances or defines whatever it’s added to.
I would even be willing to buy it for myself, because even though it’s expensive, it’s such a great ingredient to have on hand, and it lasts forever in your pantry.
It’s hard to describe the flavor of it; it’s something you have to try yourself. But I’ll try anyway: It’s deep and complex, tangy but not as acidic as most other vinegar, reminiscent of the sherry wine it’s made from but way better than that.
It tastes like Spain. I’ve never been to Spain, but I think that’s what that country would taste like.
For this simple, Meatless Monday dinner, I seared some thick slices of cauliflower in a cast iron skillet and then finished them in the oven. You basically end up eating the cauliflower steaks with a knife and fork, much like a real steak.
The three-minute sauce involves getting out the blender and buzzing around some roasted red peppers, walnuts and my beloved sherry vinegar. You’ll also need a piece of toasted bread, so when you make your toast in the morning, just make one extra piece and save it for dinner.
Enjoy your edible trip to Spain!
For the Cauliflower Steaks:
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
For the Red Pepper-Walnut Sauce:
- 1 jar (12 ounces) roasted red peppers, drained (or 1-1/2 roasted red peppers)
- 1 small garlic clove
- 1 piece whole wheat bread, toasted and torn into pieces
- 2 tablespoons walnuts
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
- Pinch of kosher salt and ground black pepper
- Chopped fresh chives, for garnish
- Make Cauliflower Steaks: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut two 1-1/2-inch-thick "steaks" from center of head of cauliflower (reserve ends of cauliflower head for another use). Use vegetable peeler or pairing knife to remove leaves and knobby sections of cauliflower stems.
- In large cast iron skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower steaks and cook 5 minutes or until very brown. Flip cauliflower steaks; cook 2 minutes, then transfer skillet to oven. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.
- Meanwhile, make Red Pepper-Walnut Sauce: Place all ingredients in blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- Serve Cauliflower Steaks with Red Pepper-Walnut Sauce, garnished with chives.