Growing up, my mom was in charge of preparing meals, and our dinner plates always featured these three groups: white rice (Filipino dad), animal protein, and vegetable. The only time we had a strictly vegetarian meal was when we visited my grandmother and picked up her favorite Veggie Lover’s Pizza from Pizza Hut.
Flash forward a few years, and now I’m preparing meals for my family...with a slightly different trinity: vegetables, whole grains, and plant-based or animal protein. This is one of my favorite vegan meals I like to pair with cooked farro: Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Romesco Sauce.
Wait, you say, cauliflower can’t be a steak. In quotation marks it can! These “steaks” are simply thick planks, roasted until tender in the center and caramelized on the outside. You need a fork and knife for this operation, which makes it feel more substantial. Preparing the cauliflower couldn’t be easier: trim the stem end until the head is resting steady on the cutting board. Then make one slice in the center, followed by slices on either side. Transfer the planks to a rimmed baking sheet, brush both sides generously with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. The end pieces might come apart a bit (they don’t have as much core and stem to anchor the slice), but you can arrange them together on the sheet pan. If you really want to present large, uninterrupted cross sections, splash out and pick up another head of cauliflower. Use the end pieces for any recipe that call for florets, like this Cauliflower Fried Rice.
Romesco sauce, an essential Spanish condiment made with roasted red peppers and toasted almonds, requires just a quick spin in the food processor. It's a sauce that only improves with time, and it makes me happier just knowing it’s in the fridge (it plays well with roasted potatoes, scrambled eggs, and cheese sandwiches).
To serve, spoon romesco on the bottom of a plate, top with roasted cauliflower, and sprinkle with fresh herbs and sprouts for crunch. Serve with a chewy whole grain like farro or sorghum and dig into this hearty meatless main.
Tune in every Sunday for a new Healthy Appetite video from Shira Bocar.
Watch Shira make vegan cauliflower "steaks":