There are very few people who list cauliflower as their #1 favorite vegetable. In fact, I personally don’t know of anyone, so if any of you do, hasten to your keyboard and email me …Cooking With Char REALLY wants to know!
I have made my peace with this healthy vegetable and eat it – not as often as I probably should, but more often now that a little while longer, its first cousin, broccoli, is off my list! People use cauliflower to replace mashed potatoes. I make a cauliflower and cheese casserole (I gave you that one way back in the beginning of this blog, almost 2 years ago, can you believe that???), use it with other veges to bulk them up, and am always looking for a different way to serve them. This one really hits the spot!
Don’t get intimidated by the 3 step process! Each of the 3 basic steps can be done in advance and set aside (if you do the Parmesan cream the day before, don’t forget to refrigerate it overnight, then bring it out and let it come to room temperature before you need to use it. The other 2 can safely sit, covered well, on the counter overnight.
Once it’s grill time, all the prep is done … grill those cauliflower steaks, and all you have to do is put on the finishing touches! As picture above is the whole ‘steak’ before cutting off the florets. If you want to serve it this way, you can certainly do so. Just brush on a bit more of the rosemary oil, drizzle on the Parmesan Cream and top with the Almond bread crumbs. This might turn out to be a #1 fave afterall!
Almond bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup whole, raw almonds (or purchase Almond Meal at Trader Joe’s ™)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp. chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup crème fraiche (or sour cream)
- 2 Tbsp. plain Greek yogurt
- 1-1/2 tsp. lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp. minced garlic
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper
Rosemary garlic oil
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
- 3 cloves grated garlic
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into 4 – 5 ‘steaks’ leaving core intact. (This is so it doesn’t fall apart on the grill) Remove all green leaves and cut a very thin slice off the bottom where it came off the plant.
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Almond Bread crumbs, Parmesan Cream & Rosemary oil (recipes below)
- Fried rosemary sprigs and/or capers if desired, for garnish
Almond Bread Crumbs — Toast bread crumbs over medium heat in a dry skillet on the stove until golden brown and crisp, about 2 – 3 minutes (or toast on a rimmed baking sheet in a 325 preheated oven for 5 minutes, stirring them around half way through so they brown evenly). At the same time, toast the almonds until they are aromatic and slightly darkened, 2 – 3 minutes or about 10 – 15 minutes in the oven (again, stirring to brown evenly).
Let the almonds cool a little, then put them into a blender or food processor and pulse until they are reduced to the size of bread crumbs.(If using Almond Meal, this is already done.) Then combine them in the bowl with the bread crumbs. Fold in the Parmesan cheese and parsley. Makes a scant cup of topping and can be made in advance. Set aside.
Parmesan Cream — In a blender, combine all the Parmesan Cream ingredients and blend, scraping down the sides as necessary, until you have a smooth cream. Set aside.
Rosemary garlic oil — In a measuring cup or small bowl, combine oil, rosemary and garlic. Mix well and set aside.
Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat until hot.
Season both sides of each cauliflower ‘steak’ with salt and pepper to taste, then brush with the rosemary garlic oil. Place the ‘steaks’ on the grill and cook as you would a steak, grilling until they develop a good char and begin to soften, about 3 – 4 minutes. If they seem to be cooking too fast, lower the heat, or move the steaks to the edge of the grill away from the direct heat. Brush steaks again with the rosemary oil, flip them over to grill the other side. Total grilling time will be 6 – 8 minutes, depending on the size and heat of your grill.
Remove the steak to a cutting board. Cut off the florets and place the florets in a bowl. Toss them with the Parmesan cream and a bit more of the rosemary garlic oil.
Mound on a serving platter while still warm and garnish with almond bread crumbs and optionally, fried fresh rosemary and/or capers.