Hello from Ohio!!! Yep, I flew out of NYC this morning super early, and I’m back in the heartland!
But…it’s currently 50 degrees in Ohio today, and I’m wearing a tee-shirt, so there’s that.
Alright, y’all. It’s time for a show stopper recipe. Holy cow, you guys, this is one for the books, I’m serious.
Earlier this week, I challenged myself to make an elegant dinner, fit for a Christmas feast. And this takes the cake! Because not only is it decked out in festive Christmas colors, but it is incredibly delicious.
So what did I make?? “Tempura” Cauliflower Steak with Blistered Italian Veggies!
Wow. Wow. Wow. That’s about all I can say. I’m going to go out on a limb here, and proclaim that this is the best thing I’ve ever made. And I don’t say that lightly.
This treat was Grain and Gluten Free, Vegan, Specific Carb Diet friendly, and Paleo!
Here’s what you need: (Serves One)
1/3 head of cauliflower
1 egg, beaten (vegan option: plain, unsweetened almond milk)
1/3 cup almond flour
handful green beans
1/2 zucchini, sliced
6 mushrooms, sliced
15 grape tomatoes, or one large tomato
1/2 red pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
Fresh basil, chopped (garnish)
Food processor (this is the one I use and love)
Tinfoil (I use nonstick and it’s a game changer)
medium sized plate
nonstick frying pan
Good chef’s knife (this is the one I use and love)
Olive oil mister (or organic olive oil spray)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut 1/3 of the cauliflower head. I used the “center cut” that included the root, and saved the outer thirds for snack and other meals. Set aside and set up your breading station.
Breading process: You’ll need a bowl, medium sized plate, and your tinfoil-lined, olive oil-sprayed baking sheet. (Or simply line with nonstick tinfoil). In the bowl, beat the egg and add a pinch of salt. (Or use plain, unsweetened almond milk.) On the plate, spread out the almond flour with a pinch of salt. Take the cauliflower “steak,” coat it in egg, and then place it on the plate with the almond flour and dredge it evenly with the almond flour. Then place it on one half of the baking sheet. Spritz it with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
On the other half of the baking sheet, place your green beans in a single layer. Spritz them with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place the entire baking sheet into the oven. You’ll bake the cauliflower for a total of 40 minutes. But at 20 minutes, when you flip the cauliflower, remove the green beans and set aside.
Meanwhile, create the sauce. Sauté the onions and garlic in 1-2 tsp EVOO, salt, pepper, and dried herbs over medium heat. After about 4 minuets, add the red peppers. Let those soften, about 4 minutes. Then add the tomatoes and let them cook for about 4 more minutes. Then, carefully transfer the veggies to the food processor, and process until it is smooth. You’ll need to scrape the sides a few times.
Also, meanwhile, in a separate pan, sauté the mushrooms and zucchini in 1-2 tsp EVOO. Let them brown on one side (about 3 minutes), then flip and let the other side brown. Set aside.
To assemble: place the cauliflower “steak” on the plate. Top with the veggie mixture and sauce, and garnish with chopped fresh basil. PROTIP: I put the majority of the sauce around the cauliflower on the plate to minimize the contact between the sauce and the breading on the cauliflower, so it would stay nice and crispy.
You guys. I cannot even begin to tell you how amazing this was. I know I can be a bit of a “gusher” about food…but this is next. level.
The first thing you notice when you bring it to the table is how freaking gorgeous it is. And so Christmasy! There’s something “rustically fabulous” about the breaded and substantial steak of golden brown cauliflower, topped with a stately pile of blistered veggies, and bright red tomato sauce. It is regal. It is elegant. It is something to be proud of. 🙂
Then, the taste is just outrageous. The bright and subtly sweet tomato sauce is the perfect backdrop to the nutty and homey cauliflower. The bright basil accents the caramelized green beans and zucchini. So. Good.
And then the textures. This may be the best part. Let me tell you: you’ve got to cut into that cauliflower with a steak knife! It still has a firm bite to it, but the outsides have caramelized and become a little chewy and have some give. And coating the outside is this sweet and nutty coating of almond flour that gives it a richness and butteriness that you’ve never experienced with cauliflower before. It was cauliflower, transcended. 🙂
And then the creamy sauce with the crunchy veggies — just delightful.
So all in all, this was a terrific meal that I cannot wait to recreate for Christmas!
It was special and seemed a bit extravagant…but in reality, it was just my humble kitchen superstar: cauliflower!
Whatever your plans are for Christmas, I hope they are filled with people you love, the celebration of our Savior, lots of joy, and of course, delicious food!
See ya next week!
What’s on your menu for Christmas?
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