Served my man a big ol’ steak for dinner on Valentine’s Day. A cauliflower steak! And he loved it. So did I. The toughest part was actually cutting the cauliflower into steaks. I managed to cut two steaks, but the rest of the broken-up cauliflower tasted just as good with the sauce and tapenade. Yum!
And we obviously had to have a side dish (although I wasn’t about to put it on the same plate as my beautiful cauliflower presentation). Went with another from new favorite cookbook, Plenty: Green couscous. Another winner.
- 1 large head of cauliflower
- 1/2 cup pitted oil-packed black olives, finely chopped
- 3 sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 plum tomatoes, cored, quartered
Remove leaves and trim stem end of cauliflower, leaving core intact. Place cauliflower core side down on a work surface. Using a large knife, slice cauliflower into four 1/2″ “steaks” from center of cauliflower (some florets will break loose; reserve). Finely chop enough loose florets to measure 1/2 cup. Transfer chopped florets to a small bowl and mix with olives, sun-dried tomatoes, 1 Tbsp. oil, parsley, and lemon juice. Season relish with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 400°. Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large heavy ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, cook cauliflower steaks until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side, adding 1 Tbsp. oil to pan between batches. Transfer steaks to a large rimmed baking sheet. Reserve skillet. Roast cauliflower until tender, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, return skillet to medium-high heat and add garlic cloves and tomatoes, one cut side down. Cook until tomatoes are browned; turn tomatoes over and transfer skillet to oven with cauliflower. Roast garlic and tomatoes until tender, about 12 minutes.
Transfer garlic, tomatoes, and 1/2 Tbsp. oil to a blender; purée until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Divide tomato sauce among plates. Place 1 cauliflower steak on each plate; spoon relish over. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Green couscous (from Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi)
Since I’m not typing up the intros to these recipes, I should mention that he suggests adding feta cheese to this. I did. That’s the white stuff in the pic. It was worth it. (Thanks, sister!) Oh, and a friendly tip — be careful about your green chile. Some are pretty dang hot and will make your face numb. Just a warning.
- 1 cup couscous
- 3/4 cup boiling water or vegetable stock
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp group cumin
- 1/3 cup chopped parsley
- 1 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 tbsp chopped tarragon
- 2 tbsp chopped dill
- 2 tbsp chopped mint
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup unsalted pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped
- 3 green onions, finely sliced
- 1 fresh green chile, finely sliced
- 1 1/4 cup arugula leaves, chopped
Place the couscous in a large bowl and cover with the boiling water or stock. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, fry the onion in the olive oil on medium heat until golden and completely soft. Add the salt and cumin and mix well. Leave to cool slightly.
To make the herb paste, place all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until smooth.
Add the herb paste to the couscous and mix everything together well with a fork to fluff it up. Now add the cooked onion, the pistachios, green onions, green chile and arugula and gently mix. Serve at room temperature.