Alright. It's time for a show stopper recipe. Holy cow you guys this is one for the books, I'm serious.
So while I was in Wisconsin, my family wanted to celebrate my graduation. So we decided to have a BBQ -- a classic Northwoods celebration!
Since clearly I can't eat BBQ fare, I was encouraged to make a nice dinner. Challenge accepted.
So what did I make?? "Tempura" Cauliflower Steak with Blistered Italian Spring Veggies.
Wow wow wow. That's about all I can say. My dad, who has an aversion to all veggies other than corn and Lima beans:) proclaimed that this was the best thing I've ever made.
I'll take that as a win for team GFHT! :)
This treat was Gluten and Grain Free, Vegan, Specific Carb Diet & Body Ecology Diet friendly, & Paleo!
Here's what you need: (Serves one)
1/3 head of cauliflower
1 egg, beaten (vegan option: plain almond milk)
1/3 cup almond flour
handful green beans
1/2 zucchini, sliced
6 mushrooms, sliced (BED use shittake mushrooms)
15 grape tomatoes or one large tomato (BED sub one red pepper)
1/2 red pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
Fresh basil, chopped (garnish)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut 1/3 of your cauliflower head. I used the "center cut" that included the root, and saved the outer thirds for snacking and other meals. Set aside and set up your breading station.
On the other half of the baking sheet, place your green beans in a single layer. Spritz them with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place the entire baking sheet into the oven. You'll bake the cauliflower for a total of 40 minutes. But at 20 minutes, when you flip the cauliflower, remove the green beans and set aside.
Meanwhile, create your sauce. Saute your onions and garlic in 1-2 tsp EVOO, salt, pepper, and dried herbs over medium heat. After about 4 minutes, add your red peppers. Let those soften, about 4 minutes. Then add your tomatoes and let them cook for about 4 more minutes. Then, carefully transfer the veggies to the food processor, and process until it is smooth. You'll need to scrape the sides a few times.
Also meanwhile, sauté your mushrooms and zucchini in 1-2 tsp EVOO. Let them brown on one side (about 3 minutes), and then flip and let the other side brown. Set aside.
To assemble, place your cauliflower on the plate. Top with the veggie mixture and sauce, and garnish with chopped fresh basil. I put the majority of the sauce around the cauliflower on the plate to minimize the contact between the sauce and the breading on the cauliflower so it would stay nice and crispy:)
You guys. I cannot even begin to tell you how amazing this was. I know I can be a bit of a "gusher" about food...but this is next. level.
The first thing you notice when you bring it to the table is how freaking gorgeous it is. There's something "rustically fabulous" about the "breaded" and substantial steak of golden brown cauliflower, topped with a stately pile of blistered veggies, and bright red tomato sauce. It is regal. It is elegant. It is something to be proud of:)
Then, the taste is just outrageous. The bright and subtly sweet tomato sauce is the perfect backdrop to the nutty and homey cauliflower. The bright basil accents the caramelized green beans and zucchini. So. Good.
And then the textures. This may be the best part. Let me tell you- you've got to cut into that cauliflower with a steak knife! It is still crunchy, but the outsides have caramelized and become a little chewy and have some give. And coating the outside is this sweet and nutty coating of almond flour that give it a richness and butteriness that you've never experienced with cauliflower before. It was cauliflower, transcended :)
And the creamy sauce with the crunch veggies was just delightful.
So all in all, this was a terrific meal to celebrate my graduation. It was special, and seemed a bit extravagant--but in reality, it was just the humble kitchen superstar--cauliflower!
As summer is beginning to wane, we're going to have lots of "special occasion" meals. Give this one a try!