Recently I was at Rose Cafe in Venice and tried a cauliflower “t-bone”. I absolutely loved it and wanted to try my own version at home.
Here’s the deal: I am not vegan. Not at all. Respect to those who are, but it’s not my thing. I’ve done it. I didn’t love it. So when I develop a recipe, I’m not thinking, “How can I make this vegan?” I am, however, always thinking, “How can I make this delicious?” This cauliflower dish is one of those dishes that doesn’t leave you asking where the pork fat or cheese is; it leaves you wanting to take another bite.
I’m a huge believer in using leftover ingredients to make completely new dishes. I had everything I needed for this recipe in my fridge except for the cauliflower, which is why I only used half of an orange for the recipe. You can use a whole one (I recommend it) for this recipe. For a step-by-step video tutorial (recommended if you’ve never peeled an orange with a knife) click here.
1 ea cauliflower head
1/2 ea navel orange, peeled 1/2″ dice
1/3 c golden raisins, soaked in hot water for 10 min
2 Tbl parsley, rough chopped, plus 1 Tbl whole leaves
1/4 c green olives, pitted, roughly chopped (use Spanish, picholine, or castelvetrano)
1 ea clove garlic, minced
1/4 c EVOO
1/2 ea lemon, juiced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Step 1: Prep the Cauliflower
From the top of the cauliflower to the stem, cut it directly in half. Then cut an inch or two off of each rounded edge, opposite the flat end. Peel off all of the green leaves from both halves.
Place about a cup of water into a pot large enough to fit the cauliflower halves. Heat it over high heat until it is boiling. Reduce to a simmer and place the cauliflower inside. Cover with a tight lid and cook until the cauliflower is tender when pierced with a fork or the tip of a knife, about 20-30 minutes.
Step 2: Make the Relish
While the cauliflower is steaming, prep the relish.
To peel the orange, cut off the ends just enough so you can see the flesh and it can lay flat on the cutting board.
Slice the knife around the orange, from the top to the bottom, exposing just the flesh and cutting away all of the pith (the white, bitter stuff in between the flesh and the outer zest of the orange). Dice the orange into 1/2″ pieces. You can rough chop it if you prefer.
Mix the orange with the raisins (do I have to tell you to drain them first? drain them first), olives, parsley, garlic, lemon, and EVOO. Add a one-finger pinch of salt and mix thoroughly to combine.
You’re going to want to let it sit for a few minutes to let the flavors meld. The salt and lemon juice will break down some of the orange and create this delicious, sweet and savory, garlicky juice. It only needs 5 minutes.
Step 3: Cook the Cauliflower “Steak”
After the cauliflower is fully cooked, let it cool slightly so you can handle it easily with your hands. Season it thoroughly with salt and pepper.
Preheat a pan on high heat with about 1 tablespoon of neutral oil (I prefer avocado) and heat it over high until the oil is smoking.
Sear it on high heat for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown. Repeat on the other side.
If you would like, you can steam and cool the cauliflower beforehand, up to 2 days in advance. If you do this step, preheat the oven to 350 F. After searing on both sides, place the pan with the cauliflower in the oven for 8-10 minutes. If it’s still warm or room temperature, you should omit this step.
Step 4: Plate it up!
Get the relish all over and scattered around the plate. Make it nice and rustic. Garnish with a few whole parsley leaves to add a nice pop of fresh chlorophyll goodness in a few random bites.