Being a vegetarian is no easy feat. When grill tops and backyard BBQ pits come out, many can brace themselves for hot dog rolls and pasta salad melted in the afternoon sun. This summer, though, make for a table of ecstatic vegans and vegetarians with this insane cauliflower steak.
Hell, even if you’re not a vegetarian, you’ll be won over by its rich, savory flavor. Executive Chef Robert Graham of Royal Sonesta Houston developed this inspired cauliflower steak with charred eggplant, curried carrot, and watercress you won’t soon forget.
“We wanted to come up with a unique vegetarian option that gave the diner the sense of eating something more than just grilled veggies,” Graham says of the dish. “The cauliflower steak has a nice mouth feel—almost as if you were eating a grilled protein. There is a lot of textural contrast in this dish which is exciting for the palette.”
Chef Robert Graham’s Grilled Cauliflower Steak with Charred Eggplant, Curried Carrot, and Watercress
Makes 4 servings
30 minutes min.
- 2 heads cauliflower
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 2 tbsp curry powder
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 4 cups milk
- 4 oz butter
- 1 eggplant, cut in half
- 2 roma tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 yellow onion, cut in half
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 6 baby carrots
- 3 jumbo carrots, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
- 1 bunch watercress
How to make it
Preheat grill to high heat. Cut two, one inch steaks from each head of cauliflower. Set aside. Heat canola oil to medium heat and stir in curry powder and paprika. Grill cauliflower for about seven minutes per side. Remove from heat and let sit for 30 minutes. Strain the oil and set aside.
Grate enough of the remaining cauliflower to give you one cup of granules. Place all of what is left of the cauliflower in a pot with the milk and cook over medium heat until tender. Remove the cauliflower from the milk into a blender. On medium speed, blend the cauliflower with some of the milk and all of the butter to make a purée. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
Place the eggplant (skin down), tomatoes and onion on the grill and char until you think they are burnt. Once you have reached this point, cook another five minutes. Remove from grill and let cool. Place all of these ingredients in a food processor along with the cilantro and cumin. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Toss the baby carrots in some of the seasoned oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook on the grill until charred. Set aside.
Cook the chopped carrots and ginger in a pot covered with water until tender. Place in a food processor and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm. Meanwhile, brush the cauliflower steaks with the seasoned oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on the grill and cook until charred on one side. Flip the steals over and cook until tender.
Place some of the cauliflower purée on the bottom of the plate. Place the steaks on top of the purée. Arrange the baby carrots on the plate. Add a scoop of the eggplant and carrot purée. Garnish with the cauliflower granules and watercress. Serve and enjoy.