Some of Eddie's recipes take days to perfect, getting the ratios just right, making sure spices blend harmoniously and honoring the foundations of some of our more authentic dishes. But often enough, he'll pull something out of the fridge, in this case, a head of cauliflower and 20 minutes later we're eating a fantastic dish. He roasted cauliflower steaks until they were perfectly charred, and served with a dusting of turmeric and a side of a red sauce he concocted just a few days before.
I call it Wanderspice Sauce. It's tangy and warm, but not spicy or hot, with a vinegary undertone. Tomato-based, the sauce has a velvety texture, while still being light enough for dipping. I don't know what sorcery is behind the sauce that makes it taste just as good, but subtly different, with the turmeric covered cauliflower.
But I do know its magic works on the grilled chicken we had the night before and as a dipping sauce for the Moroccan panini, Eddie made for lunch today. (Don't worry, both recipes for the sauce and the panini are coming soon. Subscribe to our emails above to get them first.)
As for the roasted cauliflower itself, it's the right kind of tender - not too soft, but still firm enough to require a bit of cutting. The light char adds a bit of smokiness and plays well with the turmeric. But of course, I mostly dipped every chuck into the Wanderspice Sauce... then licked the fork. And that little black bowl, too.
Suggestions and Alternatives
- To make this side dish/appetizer a meal, add some grilled shrimp or crumbled chorizo on top.
- You can use a variety of other vegetables instead. Try it with potatoes, squash, or eggplant.
- Makes a nice accompaniment to our Spinach Gnocchi with Ricotta and Brown Butter Sage.
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- 1 whole cauliflower whole
- 1/4 cup avocado oil quality
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons parsley chopped
- 2 whole lemons juiced
- 1 tablespoon turmeric ground
- Remove leaves from cauliflower.
- Be sure your cauliflower is clean and free of dirt.
- Using a sharp bread knife or offset serrated knife, cut cauliflower lengthwise two inches thick.
- Be sure to leave florets attached to the main stem. Set oven to 400 degrees.
- Using a large heavy bottom saute pan, bring to high heat, smoking hot and carefully place cauliflower steaks two at a time.
- After two minutes drizzle 1/4 cup avocado oil over the top of cauliflower. Place on baking sheet and roast in the oven until golden brown (five to ten minutes depending on oven).
- Remove from oven and sprinkle ground turmeric, Kosher salt, and juice of two lemons. Garnish with chopped parsley.
- Serve two steaks with Wanderspice Sauce, per person.
- medium stock pot
- Wooden Spoon
- 2 pounds vine-ripe tomatoes
- .25 cup Kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 10 cloves crushed garlic
- 6 whole lemons
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Using a large stock pot add olive oil and bring to medium heat
- After 3 minutes, add halved vine ripe tomatoes and crushed garlic
- Using a wooden spoon stir until tomatoes have broken down to a sauce.
- After five minutes add four sprigs thyme, Kosher salt, ground black pepper, chili flakes and sliced lemons
- After 5 minutes turn off heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes
- Remove lemon slices.
- Add remaining ingredients to a blender and puree on medium for 2 minutes, while adding butter one tbsp. at a time.
- Strain through a china cap or cheesecloth and serve hot.