At our house, we call slabs of cauliflower “vegetarian steaks.” They are a welcome steam-roast treat to serve when the vegan branch of our family visits. I like the way the chefs at America’s Test Kitchen steam them in a scorching hot oven under a blanket of aluminum foil before roasting them to create lovely caramelization on the exteriors.
A vibrant, Italian style salsa verde accompanies the tasty slabs. It’s a blend of parsley, mint, garlic, vinegar, oil, and capers – a mix that adds an alluring herbaceous spark. It goes together quickly in a food processor in less time than it takes the oven to heat.
Cauliflower Steaks with Salsa Verde
Yield: 4 servings
1 1/2 cups fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided use
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 heads cauliflower (2 pounds each), cut into four 1 1/2-inch slabs
1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and preheat oven to 500 degrees. Pulse parsley, mint, 1/4 cup oil, water, vinegar, capers, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in food processor until mixture is finely chopped but not smooth, about 10 pulses, scraping down sides as needed. Transfer salsa verde to small bowl and set aside until ready to serve.
2. Place slabs on rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; rub to distribute. Flip slabs and repeat.
3. Cover baking sheet tightly with aluminum foil and roast for 5 minutes. Remove foil and roast until bottoms of slabs are well browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Gently flip slabs and continue to roast until tender and second sides are well browned, about 6 to 8 minutes.
4. Transfer to platter and brush evenly with 1/4 cup of salsa verde. Serve with lemon wedges, passing remaining salsa verde separately.
Source: “Vegetables Illustrated” from America’s Test Kitchen ($40)