Filed Under: Cauliflower, roasted vegetables, romesco sauce, vegetable

Cauliflower Steaks with Red Pepper Romesco Sauce and Crispy Breadcrumbs

July 6th, 2016

From The Vegetable Butcher by Cara Mangini.

Who knew cauliflower could be this interesting? Spice up your cauliflower steaks with red pepper romesco sauce and add crispy breadcrumbs. Cut cauliflower into thick slabs, brush them with olive oil, and roast them so they brown and cook through. Add the pan-toasted breadcrumbs and the result is knife-and-fork–cuts of caramelized cauliflower that are perfect with a Spanish-style romesco sauce—comprised of roasted red peppers, tomatoes, sherry vinegar, and a mix of almonds and hazelnuts. Note: A small head of cauliflower will yield 2 to 4 small steaks, so you’ll want to use 2 heads for 4 servings to guarantee each person gets a thick cut. A large head should give you 4 good-size steaks.
  • 1 large head or 2 small heads cauliflower
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse or flaked sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs
  • Red Pepper Romesco Sauce
  • 2 medium red bell peppers
  • 2 small to medium tomatoes (plum tomatoes are a good option), halved lengthwise
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds
  • 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a plate with paper towels.

  2. Cut the cauliflower into steaks and carefully transfer them to a rimmed baking sheet. Brush them evenly on both sides with 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and season generously all over with salt and pepper. Roast, turning halfway through cooking, until the steaks are browned on both sides and tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring often, until they become golden brown and toasted, about 6 minutes. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper to taste, transfer them to the lined plate to drain, and let them cool completely.

  4. Divide the steaks among plates and top each with a dollop of warm or room-temperature sauce and a sprinkle of toasted breadcrumbs. Serve immediately with extra romesco sauce for the table and the crispy potatoes, if you wish.

  5. Red Pepper Romesco Sauce

  6. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

  7. Place the peppers on their side on one end of the prepared baking sheet and the tomatoes, cut side down, on the other. Roast until the tomatoes are soft and the skin has just started to brown, about 15 minutes. Carefully remove the tomatoes from the baking sheet and transfer them to a plate to cool. Continue roasting the peppers until the skin blackens and blisters in places, 20 to 30 minutes more (35 to 45 minutes total). Transfer the peppers to a bowl, cover immediately with plastic wrap, and let cool.

  8. Meanwhile, pulse the garlic in a food processor until it is finely chopped. Add the almonds and hazelnuts and blend until they are finely chopped.

  9. Peel the cooled tomatoes using your fingers (and a paring knife if needed) to remove and discard the skins; place the tomatoes in the food processor.

  10. To peel the peppers, use your fingers to pull off the charred skin, then pull off the stem, cut open the peppers, and scrape out and discard the seeds. Transfer the flesh to the food processor.

  11. Add the sherry vinegar, cayenne, paprika, and salt. With the motor running, stream in the olive oil until the mixture is smooth. Heat the sauce or serve it at room temperature or cold, depending on the application. Thin it with water if you wish.

Cauliflower Steaks with Red Pepper Romesco Sauce and Crispy Breadcrumbs
Matthew Benson

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