Cauliflower Italian Napoleon

Happy Wednesday friends!

I just got back into New York after a beautiful weekend with my family in Ohio. I had a voice over job there, so lucky me, I got to spend the weekend with my family!

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We celebrated my birthday and my mom’s birthday. And we watched several Hallmark movies. I know! They’re not just the Christmas movie gurus anymore! Quality year round entertainment! haha

But one night, my family had a gorgeous Italian lasagna dinner. And being the foodie that I am, I wanted to recreate those delicious flavors in a way that I could enjoy on the Specific Carb Diet. (SCD)

To catch those of you up who may have just stumbled onto this blog, I follow the therapeutic diet, the SCD, to keep my Ulcerative Colitis in remission. After a year of bed rest from a horrendous UC flare, I adopted the Specific Carb Diet, and it healed my disease, and kept me in remission for the last 7 years!

OK!

SO! What did I create?

This beautiful dish is my Cauliflower Italian Napoleon!

Oh my gosh, it was outrageously delicious. It’s going to become a dinner staple for sure!

Golden brown layers of cauliflower steaks, sandwiching creamy pesto and rustic tomato sauce!

And it’s Gluten Free, Grain Free, Vegan, and Specific Carb Diet friendly!

Here’s What You Need : (Serves 2)

4, i-inch thick slices of cauliflower

Broccoli Pesto:
1 head of broccoli, broken into florets (~2 cups)
1 cup fresh basil
2 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted
1 garlic clove
Juice of 1/2 lime (or lemon)
1 Tbsp EVOO
salt and pepper

Marinara:
2 tomatoes, chopped, with their juice
1 carrot, diced
1/2 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves minced
1/2 tsp dried basil and oregano
salt and pepper
fresh basil, chopped (garnish)

Tools:
Food Processor
Baking Sheet
Tinfoil (I use nonstick and it is seriously a game changer)
Nonstick frying pan
Good Chef’s Knife (This is the one I use and love)
Steamer basket or Pyrex measuring cup

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the cauliflower into 1 inch “steaks”, being sure to keep the stalk attached, so as to keep the florets together.

Place the cauliflower “steaks” on a tinfoil-lined, olive oil-strayed baking sheet. Spritz or rub them with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown, flipping half way through.

Meanwhile, steam the broccoli for about 5-6 minutes until bright green and tender. You can either do this in a steamer basket, or the microwave. Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Let it drain and dry, and then combine the broccoli with the other pesto ingredients in the food processor. Process until smooth and creamy. (You’ll need to stop and scrape the sides about 4 times.)

After you finish the pesto, put it into a bowl, and reassemble the food processor – you’ll use it again, but you don’t need to wash it yet.

On the stove, saute the onion in 1 Tbsp EVOO with salt, pepper, dried oregano and basil. Add your carrot, and let it soften, about 6 minutes. Finally, add in your tomatoes and garlic. Let them cook for about 3 minutes. Put it in the food processor, and pulse until it creates your desired consistency.

To assemble, place one cauliflower “steak” on the plate and top with about 1/4 – 1/2 cup of the broccoli pesto. Place another steak on top of the pesto, top with about 1/4 – 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce, and garnish with fresh basil.

This meal was immensely enjoyable! Everything about it was just wonderful – the flavors, the textures, and the aesthetics! Real Italian comfort food, with an SCD twist!

First, the flavors were out of this world! If you’ve never roasted cauliflower before, I highly suggest t. It becomes wonderfully golden brown and nutty flavored! It is the perfect canvas for the fresh pesto and sweet-tomatoey marinara! The pesto was bright from the basil, with a subtle garlic note, which was lovely with the fabulous tomato sauce.

And the texture of the cauliflower was superbly chewy! That tender-crispness was complimented beautifully by the rich and creamy pesto, and juicy-fresh marinara.

Finally, it was a delight for the eyes! Red, White and Green — Just like the Italian flag!

Alright, that’s all for now!

What’s your favorite Italian dish?

See ya tomorrow morning on the Podcast!

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46 thoughts on “Cauliflower Italian Napoleon

  1. Sounds delicious! Thanks!

    In the oven tonight, I have a 9×13″ pan with chicken breasts, covered in meltes butter, salt and pepper, fire roasted tomatoes mixed with garlic, oregano, Italian seasoning, parsley flakes and mozzarella cheese. So delicious! One of my favorites. I’m happy to share the exact recipe if it meets the SCD guidelines. 🙂

  2. Ummm, cauliflower newbie here… which way does one slice a cauliflower so as not to lose the florets?? I can see getting two (maybe 3) vertical slices from the middle, then what?
    Sounds yummy, regardless!

    1. Hi Janice! Yep- slice longitude-wise, north to south. You’ll get about three “pretty” slices plus the two ends per head. The ends are perfectly good to use in this recipe too! Hugs and love xox

  3. I’m going to have to remember to eat supper before I read your Wednesday posts! 😉 Making my mouth water. Always good. Oh, yeah. Can’t beat a good Hallmark Movie. 🙂 Have a good rest of your week!

  4. Yum. I’ll have to try this on Saturday. And I agree with Kenneth. I should have eaten before reading this! Have a wonderful rest of your week.

  5. Glad you were able to spend time with your family! Happy Birthday to you and your mother. Congrats on the voice over job and thanks for the recipe!! 🌷⚘🦋🥀😄

  6. Caralyn! I made this delightful recipe the other evening for my Cuppycake & I and all I can say is YUMMMMMMMMMM! This is definitely going in to my recipe collection!! Hugs to you for sharing it with all of us! I only wish I could attach the photo I took to share with you!!

    1. Oh yay!!!!!! I’m so glad you enjoyed it Dawn! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 If you Post it on instagram and tag me I’ll see it!! 🙂 hope you have a great weekend!!😘

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