Don't discard those carrot tops, broccoli stalks, potato peels and pea pods. The secret that creative restaurant chefs and thrifty great-grandmothers share is that these, and other common kitchen scraps, are both edible and wonderfully flavorful. In Root to Stalk Cooking (Ten Speed Press, 2013), Tara Duggan provides inspiration, tips and techniques to transform trimmings into delicious meals. The following Pan-Roasted Cauliflower Steaks recipe is from chapter 4, “Flowers.”
You can purchase this book in the Mother Earth Living store: Root to Stalk Cooking.
Pan-Roasted Cauliflower Steaks Recipe with Tomatoes and Capers
Cauliflower “steaks”—cauliflower cut crosswise into 1⁄2-inch pieces—brown well in olive oil. A scattering of cherry tomatoes, capers, garlic, and red chile flakes adds a southern Italian flavor that belies cauliflower’s usual bland identity. The leaves, which you’re more likely to get from cauliflower purchased at the farmers’ market, are particularly delicious in this dish. If your cauliflower doesn’t have any leaves, Italian parsley can add some green to the plate.
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
• 1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
• 1/2 head cauliflower, cut
into steaks, plus any leaves
• Kosher salt
• 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
• 2 tablespoons capers (soaked in water if salted), drained
• 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley (optional)
1. Heat the olive oil in a large cast-iron frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and red chile flakes and swirl until fragrant. Add the cauliflower steaks, which should fit in the pan in a single layer, and any extra cauliflower pieces, making sure they are all touching the pan. Season to taste with salt.
2. Cook the steaks without turning until caramelized, about 8 minutes, then flip and cook until browned on the bottom and tender, another 8 to 10 minutes. During the last few minutes, add the cauliflower leaves, tomatoes, and capers and cook until the tomatoes and leaves wilt.
3. Adjust the seasoning with salt, scatter with parsley, and serve immediately. Serves 2.
More Recipes from Root to Stalk Cooking
• Corn-Pancetta Pudding Recipe
• Leek Greens and Salty Pork Belly Stir-Fry Recipe
Reprinted with permission from Root-to-Stalk Cooking: The Art of Using the Whole Vegetable by Tara Duggan, copyright 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Buy this book from our store: Root to Stalk Cooking.