Monday, January 27, 2014

Meatless Monday: Steak, It’s What’s for Dinner

That’s right, steak, but the vegetarian variety. I’m talking Cauliflower Steak.

I only recently caught wind of this dish, but recipes for Cauliflower Steak have been kicking around the internet for a few years now. I recently read a bunch of the recipes I found, got the drift and came up with one of my own. It was the perfect thing to make during our latest cold spell.

One head of cauliflower yields two good “steaks,” two smaller ones, and some broken florets. All will roast nicely, but if you are serving dinner for four, you might want to double the recipe to make things easier. Any leftovers will warm up just fine.

Oven- Roasted Cauliflower Steak 

  • A large firm, head of cauliflower.
  • One large, red onion.
  • Olive oil.
  • Salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs.
  • Juice of one freshly squeezed lemon.

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Remove the leaves at the base of the cauliflower.
  • Trim the stem close to the head in a straight cut. 
  • Stand the head on its end.
  • Starting in the center, cut into four thick slices. You will end up with two large “steaks,” and two smaller ones. Inevitably, a few florets will break off. Save these. 
  • Halve the red onion and cut into thin slices.
  • Sauté the onion in olive oil in a heavy duty skillet, a large cast iron one if you are lucky enough to have one.
  • When the onion is tender, add the steaks and florets. 
  • Sear the steaks for four minutes.
  • Turn over carefully with a spatula and sear the reverse side for four minutes.
  • If you are NOT using a cast iron skillet, carefully transfer the cauliflower to a lightly oiled baking dish.
  • If you ARE using a cast iron skillet, you will be able to place the skillet directly into the oven for roasting.
  • Sprinkle the cauliflower with salt, pepper, and your favorite spices. [I used 1-1/2 teaspoons of Penzey’s Balti Blenda salt-free exotic mix of spices including coriander, charnushkaand chilies.]
  • Roast in the oven for 15 minutes.
  • Carefully turn over.
  • Roast for an additional 15 minutes.
  • Pour the lemon juice over the steaks.
  • Roast for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and serve. 
  • Be careful. A black cast-iron pan will be very hot and will stay hot for some time.

This satisfyingly “meaty” entrée. If you serve it with a hearty protein-rich quinoa on the side, you will have a complete meal.

Cauliflower is a vegetable in the Brassica family.  A very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Potassium and Manganese, it is also a good source of Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Magnesium and Phosphorus and very low in calories.

Have a great week. Stay warm. Eat well. 

On Mondays I often blog on food, food issues, or gardening in support of Meatless Monday, one of several programs developed in the Healthy Monday project, founded in 2003 in association with Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications. Meatless Monday’s goal is “to help reduce meat consumption 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.”

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