The last time I made cauliflower “steaks,” I was playing with the chicken-fried idea and I served them with a miso-mushroom gravy.
This time, my approach is lighter and brighter. In this recipe by Jodi Moreno in “More With Less” (Roost Books, 2018), they’re coated in a chickpea-flour batter, pan-fried and served with a chunky, sharp sauce made from thinly sliced scallions, grated ginger, sesame oil and lime juice.
The only trick to cauliflower steaks, by the way, is in the cutting. It’s hard to know just how many steaks you’ll get out of a head, because at a certain stage of the slicing you’re out of stem, which means that the florets no longer hold together. No worry. There’s enough batter for you to fry up all the stray bits, too.
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4 to 6 servings
MAKE AHEAD: The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Adapted from “More With Less: Whole Food Cooking Made Irresistibly Simple,” by Jodi Moreno (Roost Books, 2018).
For the sauce
1 teaspoon peeled, grated fresh ginger root
6 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 jalapeño or mild green chile pepper, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon honey
¼ teaspoon sea salt, or more as needed
For the cauliflower
1 large head cauliflower
1 cup chickpea flour
1 cup water
1 teaspoon garlic powder (granulated garlic)
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons grapeseed, sunflower or other vegetable oil
For the sauce: Stir together the ginger, scallions, jalapeño or mild green chile pepper, lime juice, toasted sesame oil, honey and salt in a medium bowl. The yield is ⅔ cup.
For the cauliflower: Trim and discard the green leaves and any brown stem off the bottom of the cauliflower. Place the cauliflower on a cutting board, stem side down. To create “steaks,” you’ll be starting in the middle and working your way outward. Cut the cauliflower down the center, then cut each half into ½ -inch-thick slices, starting from the cut side and working toward the outer edge, repeating until the steaks no longer hold together. You should end up with 3 or 4 whole steaks. Break up the remaining pieces into florets.
Whisk together the chickpea flour, water, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a wide, shallow bowl.
Line a plate with paper towels. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, dip a few of the steaks into the batter and turn to coat evenly. Transfer them to the pan; cook for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, until golden brown and crisped. Transfer to the lined plate. Repeat with any remaining steaks.
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet. Toss all the remaining florets into the batter so they are well coated, then transfer them to the pan and fry, turning every 2 minutes or so, until golden brown and crisped.
Restir the sauce; taste and add more salt, as needed. Serve the cauliflower steaks warm, with a spoonful of the sauce on top.
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