Cut cauliflower into thick slabs, brush them with olive oil, and roast them so they brown and cook through. Add pan-toasted breadcrumbs and the result is knife-and-fork–cuts of caramelized cauliflower that are perfect with a Spanish-style romesco sauce—comprised of roasted red peppers, tomatoes, sherry vinegar, and a mix of almonds and hazelnuts. I love serving Crispy Skillet Fingerlings (see recipe) alongside, and a small pile of quickly steamed or sautéed kale or wilted bitter greens or arugula, or round out the plate. (I think they are essential, but you can do without them if you wish.)
Make the romesco sauce up to two days in advance and store it in a container in the fridge. It will improve after all the ingredients have had an overnight together. It’s also nice to have the sauce done by the time you are ready to fire the steaks. Any leftover sauce can be tossed with pasta, spooned over eggs, spread on toast, or drizzled on steamed or roasted veggies. You can also freeze it in ice trays for later use.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 1 large head or 2 small heads cauliflower (see Notes)
- 4 to 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Coarse or flaked sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs (see here)
- Red Pepper Romesco Sauce (recipe follows), for serving
- Crispy Skillet Fingerlings (see recipe), for serving (optional)
- 1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a plate with paper towels.
- 2. Cut the cauliflower into steaks and carefully transfer them to a rimmed baking sheet. Brush them evenly on both sides with 2 to
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and season generously all over with salt and pepper. Roast, turning halfway through cooking, until the steaks are browned on both sides and tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
- 3. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring often, until they become golden brown and toasted, about 6 minutes. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper to taste, transfer them to the lined plate to drain, and let them cool completely.
- 4. Divide the steaks among plates and top each with a dollop of warm or room-temperature sauce and a sprinkle of toasted breadcrumbs. Serve immediately with extra romesco sauce for the table and the crispy potatoes, if you wish.