I have seen a few recipes touting eggplant “steak” and even tried a couple. While they are usually a tasty accompaniment to a meal which includes a protein of some kind, the term “steak” leads me to believe the main ingredient can stand on it’s own, with a side or two to help it shine, of course. Unfortunately, unless the sides are piping hot Mozzarella and Marinara, oh, that would be Eggplant Parmigiana wouldn’t it…. Anyway, you see my point. Which leads me to the subject of today’s recipe and what to call it.
My beautiful wife and I were contemplating what to grill for dinner one gorgeous summer afternoon at the Jersey Shore. Happy hour had already begun under the big patio umbrella, so when I discovered there were only frozen proteins in our refrigerator, I was inclined to “make do” with what we had. Hmmmm, I wonder what I could do with that nice big head of cauliflower and the grill? Let’s see…. I could hack it up and roast it in an aluminum pan… Nah too boring. I could quarter it and roast it… Nah, it never seems to get done in the middle before burning on the outside. I know. Let’s try getting a couple of thick slices and grilling them like a steak!
What I wound up with was an amazing, veggie “steak” that was perfectly al dente and also had that deep grilled flavor which you just can’t get any other way than on the grill. Does it stand alone, not really. But, it’s perfect as a side to steak or chicken and combined with a salad and another veg, say, asparagus or grilled corn, it would be the centerpiece of a great vegetarian meal. So, I’m choosing to call them steaks. You may call them whatever you want, but they are definitely easy enough to make and good enough to eat to make them worth your while to try!
There are really only two tricks to making this dish. The first is cutting a head of cauliflower so that it yields 2 “steaks”. Leave the leaves on and cut it in half straight through the middle of the stem. Stand each half straight up and make a parallel cut to yield about a 2” think steak. You will have about 1/3 of the head left after cutting the steaks, which you can use for another dish or roast with the steaks in aluminum foil or a pan. The second trick is in grilling them. You want your grill at around 400 degrees but you only want medium heat directly under the cauliflower, so it doesn’t burn. If using charcoal, keep the bulk of it to one side of the grill with a single layer under the cooking area. With gas, use medium-low heat under the cauliflower and control the heat with another burner.
1 Head of Cauliflower
2 TBSP Olive Oil or Canola Oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp fresh ground Pepper
Cut the Cauliflower Steaks as described above
Brush both sides with Oil
Salt and Pepper evenly on both sides.
Grill as described above for about 30 minutes, turning once with tongs.
Serve like a Steak!
I hope you will try this and enjoy it as much as we do!
“There is no love sincerer than the love for food.” George Bernard Shaw
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