Flower Power: Cauliflower
We’re equal-opportunity eaters.
We see no reason a piece of vitamin C-rich and fiber-filled cauliflower can’t be a big, fat and juicy as a resplendent grass-fed steak.
Good thing chefs around the country agree with us. Meet the cauliflower steak: A full head of cauliflower, core intact, sliced from top to bottom and temptingly seared and caramelized. It deserves to be the centerpiece of your table, as much as any piece of meat.
At New York’s new Café Clover, executive chef David Standridge serves golden-brown steaks with fresh greens, a chutney of pickled cauliflower and herbs, a cauliflower puree (simply made with water, cauliflower and a touch of cream) and a sauce made of piquillo peppers, garlic, almonds, sherry vinegar and olive oil. “My inspiration was to create a vegetable-centric entree that a pork loving chef, like myself, is fully satisfied by,” he says.
At Brooklyn’s Eugene & Co, the pan-seared vegetable incorporates cumin, coriander and paprika and is finished off with carrot ribbons, feta and toasted cashews. Park Avenue Winter serves their T-bone with black rice and goat cheese, while Kin Shop puts a Thai twist on theirs with a Siamese green curry with Szechuan peppercorn tempura, kabocha squash and turnips.
Across the country, LA’s Superba Snack Bar has been rocking the trend since 2012, but is changing things up with a new plating with edible flowers, a parsley puree, crispy horseradish and dill.
Thankfully, this is a preparation that is not just for the pros, chef Standridge tell us. “The technique is very simple and something that anyone can easily replicate at home.”
Follow his instructions for your new favorite non-steak steak:
1. Trim a whole head of cauliflower of its leaves and then cut into steaks 1 to 2 inches thick. The best way to do this is to trim from the outside until you can see that the stem is holding the steak together. That will give you an idea of where to cut.
2. Once you have a nice thick piece, it’s just a matter of heating olive oil in a pan until hot and getting a nice golden brown sear on each side.