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The simple process of caramelization miraculously transforms this thick slice of cauliflower into a sweet, lip-smackin’ steak that will satiate dedicated vegetarians and committed carnivores.

 

1 head cauliflower (Select a firm head with minimal blemishes)

3 tablespoons butter, divided

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium shallot, diced

6 anchovies + 1 teaspoon oil from the tin

6 jumbo, stemmed caper berries, (or 2 tablespoons conventional capers, drained of vinegar)

3 tablespoons raisins

2 tablespoons, parsley, chopped finely

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

salt & pepper

zest of one lemon

 

Set cauliflower on a solid cutting surface, stem side up. Cut cauliflower in half, vertically, through the center of the stem (it’s the stem that will help keep the steak intact). Stand each half up again as you did in the beginning. Starting from the flat side of each half, measure in 1-inch and slice down vertically creating a 1-inch thick “steak” (see photo). Save exterior section (which will likely fall apart because there is no stem to hold it together) for salads or crudité.

Pre-heat oven to 450°F.

Heat a large, heavy oven-proof pan (ideally cast iron), over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. After butter is melted, add cauliflower steaks and cook until the bottom side is a nutty brown color, about 10 – 15 minutes. Flip steaks and immediately transfer pan to oven. Bake for 15 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender throughout and the bottom is browned.

While cauliflower is roasting in the oven, heat a medium size pan over medium heat. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. When butter has melted, add lemon juice, garlic, shallot, anchovies and anchovy oil, caper berries and raisins. Sauté until garlic and shallots have browned and anchovies have disintegrated into the butter, about 10 minutes. Add parsley. Turn off heat and reserve.

Remove cauliflower from the oven, set on warmed plates. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon pan contents over steaks and finish with lemon zest.

Yield: serves 2