Seared Cauliflower with Vibrant Kale Parsley Sauce, a recipe.
Seared Cauliflower with Vibrant Kale Parsley Sauce
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 

Cauliflower naturally wants to break into flowerettes, but in the center through the stem you can slice the cauliflower sections with the stem and flowerettes intact. You will get anywhere from 2-4 intact steaks depending on the size of the cauliflower. Don’t despair if they break apart, it will still taste delicious. Buy a couple of cauliflower heads for backup if the cauliflower steaks break apart or if you want your guest to have similar looking pieces. 

The kale parsley sauce is a vibrant hybrid of a chimichurri sauce and a pesto. The acid brightens the sauce while the anchovies, capers garlic and hot pepper flakes give it depth. It is a delicious sauce to add some pizzazz to roasted vegetables and meats. 

If you have some leftover cauliflower it is delicious stirred into penne or fusilli pasta with some chickpeas and sliced cherry tomatoes, coated with the kale parsley sauce.

See notes for a vegan alternative. 

Course: Vegetable Side Dish, Vegetarian Main
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Ginger
Ingredients
  • 4 oz (125 g) lacinato kale
  • ¼ cup (34 g) pine nuts, more for garnish
  • Shy ounce (26 g) Italian parsley
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2-3 anchovy fillets 1 tsp white miso paste for a vegan substitute, optional
  • 2 TB capers rinsed and dried
  • 2 TB red wine vinegar
  • ¼ - ½ tsp red pepper flakes (Depending on how hot you want the sauce)
  • ¼ tsp Kosher salt
  • A couple of rounds of fresh black pepper
  • ½ cup (125 ml) 125 ml extra virgin olive oil plus more for the cauliflower
  • 1 large head of cauliflower
Instructions
Make the kale parsley sauce
  1. Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside.
  2. Bring a large stock pot half full of water to a boil. Add a teaspoon of Kosher salt to the pot. While the water is combing to a boil, clean and remove the stems from the lacinato kale. Chop the leaves into thirds. When the water reaches a brisk boil, add the kale and blanch for 2 minutes. Remove the kale from the boiling water with a spider or tongs and add to the ice water bath. Once the kale is cool to touch, drain from the water and spread out over a clean lint free kitchen towel. Gently pat dry. Set aside.

  3. Toast the pine nuts. Heat a small skillet over medium high heat for 4 minutes. Add the pine nuts. Keep the pine nuts in constant motion so they do not burn. Shake the pan and move it back and forth on the burner, or stir with a wooden spoon. The pine nuts are toasted when you start to smell a warm nutty scent and the pine nuts are slightly browned in parts, about 1 minute. Quickly pour the pine nuts onto a plate to cool. Set aside.
  4. Trim off most of the parsley stems and rough chop the parsley leaves.
  5. In a bowl of a food processor or blender, add the blanched kale and give it a few pulses to break it up and start to make a purée. Add the parsley and pulse to blend.
  6. Add the remaining ingredients, except the olive oil and pulse to create slightly textured purée. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  7. Pour out the kale sauce into a small bowl and add the olive oil. Stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside on the counter.
Cauliflower Steaks
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F / 190°C / Gas Mark 5

  2. Trim away any leaves from the base of the cauliflower head. Rest the cauliflower head on its bottom, stem end down, and cut the cauliflower head in half vertically. Push one half aside and cut ½ inch (1.5 cm) width slices making cauliflower steaks. You might only get two intact cauliflower steaks per side, and the remaining cauliflower may fall into pieces. Repeat with the other half.

  3. Spread the cauliflower steaks on a rimmed baking sheet and gently brush with olive oil on both sides. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and black pepper.
  4. Heat a griddle pan or large skillet to medium high heat. I set my griddle to 325°F (160°C). When hot add the cauliflower steaks to the griddle or skillet and sear for about 5-6 minutes a side. Check after 4 minutes to see the progress. You want a nice brown sear along the flat surface of the cauliflower. Carefully turn the cauliflower steaks over and sear the opposite side.

  5. Place the cauliflower steaks on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast in the oven until the cauliflower is tender in the middle, about 10-12 minutes.

  6. Plate the cauliflower steaks on a serving platter or individual plates, and drizzle with the kale parsley sauce. Garnish with pine nuts and chopped parsley and sliced grape tomatoes.

  7. Serve with grains or grilled or roasted meats and chicken.
Recipe Notes

If you want to make this a vegan meal, omit the anchovies and add white miso paste. Start with a teaspoon of miso paste and taste. It will give the kale parsley sauce some body similar to the anchovies, but you lose some of the Tuscan vibe in the sauce. Another alternative is just omit the anchovies and add more capers to your liking.