Aggressively Vegetarian | Cauliflower “Steaks”

After nights of pierogies and mounds of mashed potatoes and roast chicken, I yearn for something light.  Almost ethereal.  This dinner is the lightest of light.   Nary a protein to be found.  Strictly vegetables.  And a bit of white chocolate.  What?

Tonight’s dinner took the oh-so-seasonal cauliflower and transformed that single veg into both a steak and a mashCauliflower are just lovely right now at Worthington Farmer’s Market.  This recipe was from the intriguing, albeit short-lived, IFC series Dinner with the Band.  And the intriguing, and kind of hot, chef Sam Mason.  Chef Mason kicked in some chickpea fries, so you’d have some protein.  Usually vegetarians get stuck with salads, pastas, and risottos.  If you’re hosting a vegetarian, this meal would be a welcome change.

But sometimes there are nights that I just want vegetables, and lots of them.  Tonight was that night.

Put simply, dinner required two ingredients, in addition to salt, pepper, and olive oil, which I don’t normally count.  Cauliflower and white chocolate.  The “steaks” were thickly cut from the center of the untrimmed cauliflower.  The core is critical to keeping the steaks intact.  The steaks were placed in a pan with shimmeringly hot olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and browned generously on each side, touching only once to be turned.  They are a bit delicate.  The trimmings and sides of the cauliflower remaining from the steaks were chopped and placed in a steamer basket to steam until very tender.   When done, they were dumped into the bowl of a food processor along with a generous two handfuls of white chocolate and several big pinches of kosher salt and pureed to velvety smoothness.

Of course there are copious leftovers of the puree, since I used two heads of cauliflower.  Which just means that I can reheat it tomorrow night.  And serve it with a juicy juniper rubbed sirloin.

Playlist included The Best Ever Death Metal Band Out of Denton, by the Mountain Goats.


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