While I don’t remember my first taste of cauliflower, it certainly wasn’t in childhood. As a Mad Men-era kid, my vegetable world consisted of frozen peas, iceberg lettuce and an occasional carrot stick. The closest I got to cauliflower was broccoli, but that’s like saying I knew something about China because I visited Chinatown in lower Manhattan.
But now that cauliflower has come into my life, there is no turning back.
Properly cooked, cauliflower has a slightly nutty taste. I like it simply brushed with oil and butter, and roasted whole. Prepared that way, cauliflower gets soft and almost creamy inside. It’s also great cut into florets and roasted, so that the smaller pieces get crunchy.
Given its plain – some would say bland – taste, cauliflower pairs beautifully aromatic herbs and with the spices common in Indian and other Southeast Asian cuisines. Once roasted (a much better way to cook cauliflower than boiling or steaming), you can turn it into dip or soup, using spices and other vegetables to add other flavor dimensions.
Last year, at a New York City restaurant, I saw cauliflower steak and I was enthralled. The concept of sliced cauliflower led me to a whole new level of appreciation for the possibilities of “cauliflowerdom.” I didn’t order the steak, only saw it on someone else’s plate, but it immediately went onto my culinary “must make” bucket list.
As the weather cooled and cauliflower began appearing in grocery stores, I began to think about cauliflower steaks – and lo and behold, my Secret Recipe Club partner for this month, Danielle, has a recipe for Curried Cauliflower Steak with Chickpeas + Feta. It was an easy pick for my October recipe from Danielle’s blog, Mostly Food & Crafts.
Danielle is incredibly crafty, as well as being a creative cook. I may not need to make a tutu for my 20-something daughter (or anyone else) these days, but if I ever do have a tutu-age kid around, I am definitely going back to Danielle’s post on how to make a homemade tutu. And speaking of cute, the pics of her kids helping to cook donuts are absolutely adorable. Looking through her recipe list, called Mostly Food, I found lots of dishes we both love. We both love roasted vegetables, like her Slow Roasted Garlic Tomatoes. I even found recipes for dishes that we are probably among a select group who love – any other takers for candied kumquats? They’re delicious, but if you don’t believe me, that just leaves more for Danielle and me to devour.
As to the curried cauliflower steaks, suffice it to say that they were delectable!
The ingredients are simple.
Creating slices is not tricky, it just requires starting close to the middle and not taking off too much of the stem of bottom leaves until after you’ve made the slices
Brushed with a combination of olive oil, curry, salt and ground pepper, with a few red pepper flakes sprinkled on at the end, the steaks are sautéed, then broiled for a few minutes with the chick peas. The crumbled or cubed feta is added at the end, just as you serve it from the pan. Quicker than roasting and ever so tasty!