Here’s how to transform a vegetable into a show-stopping main dish. Slabs of cauliflower are blasted in the oven for a roasty, caramelized flavour, then placed on a bed of garlicky cauliflower purée. The high amount of pectin—the compound that thickens jams—gives cooked and blended cauliflower its velvety texture.
1/2 cup (125 mL) raw cashews
1 garlic bulb
2 heads of cauliflower
1 tsp (5 mL) extra-virgin olive oil or camelina oil, divided
1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme
1/2 tsp (2 mL) smoked paprika
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt, divided
1/2 tsp (2 mL) black pepper, divided
1/2 cup (125 mL) oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 Tbsp (45 mL) pine nuts, preferably toasted
1 Tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
3 Tbsp (45 mL) extra-virgin olive oil or camelina oil
1 tsp (5 mL) lemon zest
1/4 tsp (1 mL) nutmeg
Place cashews in bowl, cover with water, and soak for at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Slice off 1/4 in (0.6 cm) from top of garlic bulb so that most of the cloves are exposed. Place garlic on piece of parchment paper and drizzle with a touch of oil. Wrap tightly and bake for 30 minutes.
Raise oven temperature to 425 F (220 C). Remove any outer leaves from cauliflower heads, but leave stems intact. Place cauliflower heads on cutting board, stem side down. Using large chef’s knife, cut into 1/2 to 3/4 in (1.25 to 1.75 cm) slices. You should get at least two cauliflower steaks—large pieces that are flat on both sides—per head. Set aside remaining pieces of cauliflower.
Place cauliflower steaks on parchment paper-lined baking sheet and brush tops with oil. Stir together thyme, paprika, 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt, and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper. Sprinkle spice mixture over cauliflower. Roast cauliflower until it is browned and stems are tender when pierced with knife, 25 to 35 minutes.
Meanwhile, roughly chop about 4 cups (1 L) of remaining cauliflower and place in saucepan full of water. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender. Reserve 1/2 cup (125 mL) cooking water, drain, and set aside.
In bowl, stir together sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, pine nuts, lemon juice, and 3 Tbsp (45 mL) oil.
Drain cashews, place in blender or food processor container along with 1/2 cup (125 mL) water, and blend until smooth. Add roasted garlic pulp, cauliflower, lemon zest, nutmeg, and remaining salt and pepper to container. Blend until very smooth, adding some of the cauliflower cooking water if needed to help with blending and obtain the consistency of mashed potatoes. Don’t let the mixture become too watery.
Spread cauliflower purée on serving plates and top with cauliflower steaks. Sprinkle sun-dried tomato mixture over top.
Each serving contains: 347 calories; 11 g protein; 26 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 26 g total carbohydrates (7 g sugars, 7 g fibre); 423 mg sodium
source: "Cauliflower", alive #389, March 2015
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