Recipe Review: Cauliflower Steaks with Olive Relish and Tomato Sauce

If all vegetarian dishes had this much flavor, there would be a lot more vegetarians 😉  This dish is from Bon Appetit January 2012.  A head of cauliflower is cut into “steaks,” sauteed until golden brown, and then roasted in the oven at 400F until tender.  Some of the raw cauliflower florets are combined with olives, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, olive oil, and lemon juice in a flavor-packed relish.  The third component is a tomato sauce made with tomatoes and garlic roasted at the same time as the cauliflower, then blended together.

Harold McGee has written a great book that explains the science of cooking entitled On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen.  Roasting leads to browning or caramelization, where amino acids react with sugars when heated, generating hundreds of complex flavor compounds in a process called the Maillard reaction.  The transformation of cauliflower in this dish is highlighted by the complex, tender, caramelized, roasted cauliflower steaks contrasting with the crunchy raw cauliflower florets in the relish.

Link to recipe here.

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