the taste space

Pan-Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Tomatoes and Capers (& Eating Cauliflower Greens)

Posted in Sides by Janet M on October 22, 2013

Pan-Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Tomatoes and Capers

Lest you think this blog is only made up of Asian and Southeast Asian/Indian, or ridiculously easy treats, sometimes it is nice to branch out a bit. Branch out into fancy foods, even if Rob is away.

The joke is on you. This may look impressive, but it is still very easy to make.

Cauliflower is one of those vegetables that is finally getting its time in the limelight. Is cauliflower the new kale? Roasted, riced, pureed, mashed, curried, I have done it all. The last one on my hit-list was to make cauliflower steaks.

Basically, you roast or bake thick slabs of cauliflower and season them in any combination of flavours. I think it was Denis Cotter, in For The Love of Food, who admitted he could only ever get 2 steaks from one head of cauliflower.  He is correct. Try carefully cutting cauliflower and you will still end up with cauliflower carnage. But at least I procured two cauliflower steaks along with some bigger chunks.

Pan-Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Tomatoes and Capers

For this version of cauliflower steaks, I opted to pan-roast the cauliflower, creating a lovely layer of caramelization. It is flavoured simply, with tomatoes, capers, garlic, chile flakes and salt and pepper (do not skimp on the seasoning). And the neatest part of this recipe? I used the whole head of cauliflower, leaves and all. (I used the leftover cauliflower crumbles in the raw caramel apple). Gosh only knows why I always used to discard cauliflower leaves, but it is an edible green. Like bok choy, the stems are thick and crunchy and the bitty leaves are like baby greens. It all went into the dish.

In truth, I served this with a healthy blob of hummus on the side. After which, I reminded myself of Susan’s hummus-crusted cauliflower steak recipe I had bookmarked. Next time, for sure. :)

Have you ever eaten cauliflower greens?

Pan-Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Tomatoes and Capers

This is my submission to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Graziana.

Pan-Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Tomatoes and Capers
Adapted from Root-to-Stalk Cooking

1 tbsp coconut oil
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp Aleppo chile flakes
1 cauliflower, leaves trimmed and reserved, head cut into 1.5-cm steaks
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp capers, drained

1. Begin by preparing your cauliflower: remove the leaves. Trim the green parts and thinly slice the cores of the cauliflower leaves. Keep separate. Next, slice the cauliflower head into 1.5-cm slices. Only 2 will likely be big steaks but keep any reasonably large pieces. The rest of the cauliflower carnage can be used into another recipe.

2. In a large non-stick or cast-iron frying pan over medium heat, heat oil. Add the garlic and chile flakes and swirl until fragrant, around 30 seconds. Add the cauliflower steaks in a single layer, and any extra cauliflower pieces, making sure they are all touching the pan. Season with salt, to taste.

3. Cook the steaks without turning until caramelized, about 8 minutes, then flip. Add the sliced stems of the cauliflower and cook until the cauliflower steaks are browned on the bottom and tender, another 8-10 minutes. During the last few minutes, add the cauliflower leaves, tomatoes and capers. Cover and cook until the tomatoes and leaves wilt.

4. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately.

Serves 2 as a side.

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20 Responses

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  1. Deena Kakaya said, on October 22, 2013 at 6:51 AM

    Don’t think I’ve ever eaten cauliflower quite in that way, at first glance I thought it was halloumi…I will have to give it a whirl x

  2. veganfoodpreparationPaul said, on October 22, 2013 at 6:53 AM

    I love Cauliflower. I’ll have to give this recipe a go. Thanks Janet.

  3. Elderberry Arts said, on October 22, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    That looks delicious. Definitely a recipe to try out soon, roasted cauliflower sounds nice as well.

  4. Eileen said, on October 22, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    I have never eaten cauliflower steak, but I think that needs to change! Sweet tomato & pungent capers sound like a great combination with a huge slab of just-caramelized veg.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on October 25, 2013 at 9:18 AM

      Yes, the thick slabs were a definite treat. I think it is all about the textures since I usually eat a lot of soups/stews/curries.

  5. Kalyn said, on October 22, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    Gorgeous, I would love that for dinner!

  6. Ellen Lederman said, on October 22, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    Loved the phrase “cauliflower carnage.” Thanks for being honest about the difficulty of cutting a perfect slab to make a steak. I’m sure it’s still good even when not in perfect pieces and not florets. Will try this but it’s hard to back away from the Buffalo cauliflower bites…which may not be your thing if you don’t like Frank’s Red Hot sauce.

    I really admire that you cook yourself such a good dinner when alone. When Andy sued to travel and I had worked all day, all I had was a frozen dinner/popcorn/cereal.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on October 25, 2013 at 9:17 AM

      I am very intrigued by the Buffalo cauliflower, Ellen, but I have to wait for Rob to be here in case it is too spicy! I like having him as a back-up for the spicy food, HA! :)

      Btw, I am not averse to oatmeal for dinner. Especially since I make a huge batch all week and it is ready to go in the fridge :)

  7. Joanne said, on October 22, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    Cauliflower steaks make for a GORGEOUS presentation. And they are super tasty too especially when you dress them with goodies like capers and tomatoes! Yum!

  8. Kari @ bite-sized thoughts said, on October 23, 2013 at 2:15 AM

    Ooh, the idea of cauliflower steaks with hummus (or tahini!) has me sold :) What a great idea – and ditto your version here.

  9. Johanna GGG said, on October 23, 2013 at 4:50 AM

    this is great – I tried cauliflower steaks the first time this year but roasting in my poor old oven – I think it would work better for me to panfry them – will have to try them again – and I am comforted to know that two steaks is reasonable – I was amazed at how few I got

    • janet @ the taste space said, on October 25, 2013 at 8:36 AM

      If people get more, then they need to teach me. Either that, or they have huge cauliflowers.. or big stems, because you need the stem to keep it all together. I still want to try the roasting, though, since it seems easy, too.

  10. veganmiam.com said, on October 23, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    I love eating cauliflower on its own when steamed or in curries, but these “steaks” look awesome as a side dish.

  11. Genevieve said, on October 25, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    I’ve been curious about recipes I’ve seen for either cauliflower steaks or whole heads of roasted cauliflower. Good to know the truth about the steak idea ahead of time rather than finding out once you go to cut it! The pan method sounds pretty simple though, so I should still give it a try sometime and just use the carnage in another recipe :)

  12. D said, on October 26, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    Wow, these steaks look SO yum! I’ve never heard of making cauliflower steaks before! I’m definitely going to have to try this soon! And I love the idea of using the cauliflower greens. :) Thanks for sharing!

    D.

  13. kimmythevegan said, on October 27, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    Oh yum! This sounds super tasty! What a pretty plate you made =)

  14. Weekend Reading, 11.8.13 said, on November 8, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    […] Janet’s Pan-Roasted Cauliflower Steak is, like all of her recipes, creative and […]


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