Cauliflower is very much the vegetable of the moment. If you haven’t tried roasting it yet, you are in for an amazing transformation. You won’t recognize it as the same vegetable. My usual method is to coat it with a drizzle of olive oil, sea salt, and roast in the oven at 425 degrees F. for about 30-40 minutes, turning once. You end up with the most amazingly crispy caramelized bits on the edges. But, every once in a awhile, the oven is not an option. You might have something already there at a different temperature. Here they are browned in a heavy skillet on top of the stove. It was even faster and the results were delicious.
Pan-Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Tomatoes & Capers
(serves 2 as a main dish)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon of red chile flakes
- 1/2 head of cauliflower, sliced into steaks about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick
- 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 tablespoons of capers (soaked and rinsed with water if salted), drained
- Chopped Italian parsley for serving
- Trim the bottom of the cauliflower, but keep some of the stem to keep the florets intact. Cut the cauliflower into 1/2 to 3/4 inch steaks through the middle, as much as possible keeping some of the stalk on each slice. You will have some extra florets from the ends, you can use them to fill in the skillet.
- Heat the olive oil in a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium heat.
- Add the garlic and chili flakes and swirl until fragrant, making sure the garlic doesn’t burn.
- Add the cauliflower steaks in one layer, filling the pan and making sure they touch it. Add any extra florets to any gaps.
- Sprinkle with salt
- Cook without turning until caramelized on the bottom, about 8 minutes. Then flip and turn to brown the other side, another 8 to 10 minutes. During the last few minutes, add the tomatoes and capers.
- Adjust the seasoning, scatter with parsley and serve. You can serve this directly in the skillet.
We were all out of parsley (and it was raining too hard to run into the garden) so I scattered arugula on top when I added the tomatoes and capers. It wilted nicely on the top just like it would on pizza.
Recipe slightly adapted from Root to Stalk Cooking by Tara Duggan. I highly recommend this book as she has suggestions for using the whole vegetable, not just the familiar parts.