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plant-based

Cauliflower Steaks & Purée with Pistachio-Caper Relish

TIME: 45; MINUTES SERVES: 2 - 4
Adapted from Ottolenghi & Bon Appetit

This dish is surprisingly simple, and incredibly impressive as a vegetarian entrée or side dish—a wonderful option if you are wanting to whip up a fancy, plant-based dinner. The caramelized cauliflower steaks are beautiful plated over the purée, and the relish is the perfect mix of salt, fat, acid & crunch.

Yotam Ottolenghi knows how to transform the humble cauliflower into a centerpiece. His original recipe calls for anchovies and egg yolk in the purée, and walnuts in place of pistachios. As always, feel free to adjust to your liking.

INGREDIENTS

Relish
1/3 cup raw pistachios, shelled
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbls. capers, drained
1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes or 1/2 hot pepper, seeded and minced
3 tbls. parsley, chopped
1 tbls. sherry vinegar
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 small shallot, minced
1 small clove garlic, grated
Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste

1 medium head cauliflower
1 clove garlic, grated
1 - 2 tbls. lemon juice
2 tbls. olive oil or butter/ghee, plus 1 tbls. for frying
2+ tbls. water or cream
1 salt-packed anchovy filet, rinsed & cleaned (opt.)
3 - 4 strips lemon zest
1/2 tsp. each za’atar and nigella seeds (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. Spread pistachios on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant & golden brown, 5 - 7 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop & set aside. Increase oven temperature to 425°F.

  3. Heat olive oil and capers in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until capers are golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Pour oil and capers into a small bowl to cool.

  4. When the caper-oil mixture is slightly cooled, mix in pistachios, chili (flakes or fresh), parsley, vinegar, shallot, garlic, and lemon zest. Season with salt and black pepper. Set relish aside. *This can be made a few hours, or up to a day in advance.

  5. For the cauliflower: Remove the tough outer leaves from cauliflower, leaving any tender inner leaves. Trim stem to create a flat base (careful not to over-trim—you’ll need a base to hold the steaks together), and rinse if dirty. Cut cauliflower in half from top to bottom, creating two lobes. From the cut-edge of each lobe, slice a 1-inch “steak” (the stem should hold the florets together), resulting in 2 similar-sized steaks. Very coarsely chop remaining florets & leaves.

  6. Boil enough salted water to cover the florets in a large saucepan, and cook until very tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and purée in a food processor with garlic, lemon juice, 2 tbls. olive oil or butter/ghee, water or cream (to thin), and optional anchovy until very smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides a couple times. Season with salt and more lemon if necessary, and set aside.

  7. Heat 1 tbls. butter/ghee in a large, cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower steaks and lemon zest (tucking the strips into the lobes to avoid burning). Cook until steaks are deep golden brown. Flip over and season with salt.

  8. Transfer skillet to the oven and roast until cauliflower stems are fork-tender, about 15 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove cauliflower and sprinkle with optional nigella seed & za’atar. If the steaks are not softened at this point, add a couple tbls. water and return pan to oven for another 5 - 7 minutes.

  9. To serve, spoon cauliflower purée onto a platter and arrange steaks on top. Spoon relish over and sprinkle with salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with extra lemon wedges.

Creamy Winter Squash Soup with Coconut & Ginger

TIME: 30 - 45 MINUTES (not including roasting time); SERVES: 6+

This soup can be made with almost any type of winter squash. I prefer to use Kabocha because of its starchy, chestnut-like texture and flavor, but dense Butternut or Delicata does wonders as well. I would eat this soup all Winter if I could grow & store enough squash to satisfy my cravings.

*Go with a high-powered blender or food processor, rather than an immersion blender, for the silkiest texture.

INGREDIENTS

1 medium-large winter squash; roasted, flesh scooped out & reserved (about 2 cups)
2 tbls. unrefined coconut oil or ghee/butter
1 large yellow or white onion (or 1 - 2 leeks), chopped
1 - 2 fennel and/or celery stalks, or 1 fennel bulb (opt.), chopped
1 - 3 carrots (opt.), chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece ginger, peeled & grated
Water, vegetable broth, or chicken stock (amount depends on desired consistency)
1, 14-oz. can full-fat coconut milk
~1/4 tsp. each coriander, ground turmeric, & Ceylon cinnamon
A pinch of cayenne pepper
Juice from 1/2 - 1 lime (depending on size; to taste)
1 tsp. fish sauce (opt.)
Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Cilantro, chopped
Greek yogurt or crème fraîche

METHOD

  1. Heat coconut oil or ghee/butter in a large dutch oven or soup pot. When hot enough to sizzle water, add the onions, optional fennel, celery & carrots, garlic, ginger, & spices. Cook until browned & fragrant.

  2. Add the coconut milk and roasted winter squash. Add enough water or stock to barely cover. (You can always add more liquid, but it’s hard to cook the soup down once it’s too thin without adding more squash.)

  3. Cover and simmer on low until soft and thoroughly cooked through, about 20 minutes. Stir often to avoid sticking.

  4. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Transfer carefully in batches to the blender or food processor and purée until creamy.

  5. Adjust seasonings: add the lime, optional fish sauce, and salt & pepper to taste.

  6. Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro and yogurt or crème fraîche.

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