Where do I begin? I am sorry it has been a while, but I have been finding it harder and harder to sit down and write. With summer days being beautiful and longer, filled with breezes off the sound and sunshine…I have been finding it more difficult to sit down and actually write. Maybe I have been distracted? We are getting ready to pack and move into a new apartment. (I’m very excited about this apartment; it has a gas stove!) Brian and I have become an Uncle and Aunt again. (My sister had a healthy baby girl just three weeks ago.) I have been coming home after a long day on my feet from this new job tired. Also, last week Brian flew in to Phoenix to spend time with his parents and niece who were vacationing there. So, maybe my mind has not been too focused on just one thing?
Either way, I was cooking for one last week. With Brian away; it was just Martini, Latte, and I. The girls were fine eating their kibble and rice I treated them to. I opted for light, simple meals, and an opportunity to use the grill!!! With a head of cauliflower in the refrigerator I thought a cauliflower steak was calling to me. To dress it up and to make more use of the grill I roasted off some bell peppers and made a roasted pepper and basil coulis. A nicely grilled cauliflower steak is meaty and light at the same time. The bold and rich flavor of the coulis liven it up and makes it a bit more of a fancy dish without being fussy. It is a great dish for one and a great dish for a crowd; not to mention light and satisfying for a warm summer day. When you try it you will thank me, trust me.
Cauliflower Steak with Roasted Pepper and Basil Coulis (feeds 4)
1 – 2 heads of Cauliflower (depending on size)
½ cup of olive oil
3 – 4 bell peppers; red, yellow, or orange
1 clove of garlic
About 6 – 8 basil leaves
3 tbsp of red wine vinegar
2 tsp of honey
Sea Salt and Fresh Black Pepper to taste
1/3 cup of Pine Nuts, toasted
First, set your grill to high and heat until it is about 400 degrees or higher. Meanwhile slice your cauliflower about an inch to an inch and a half thick. You have to keep in mind the stem of your cauliflower and try to slice it so it keeps intact. (You might end up with smaller lose pieces; I like to save those for a salad or crudité platter.)
Next; place your bell peppers on the grill and begin to char the outside of the skin lightly, turning every so often. You are looking to evenly char the outside of your bell pepper. Meanwhile, brush your cauliflower with olive oil and season with sea salt and fresh black pepper. Once the peppers are charred place them on a plate to cool. Place the cauliflower onto the grill and cook on each side about 2 minutes. You are looking to get light grill markings on the cauliflower and for the cauliflower to be tender when pierced with a knife.
Then, remove the cauliflower from the grill and let them rest. Scrape away the charred skin of the bell peppers and discard. Cut away the stem, core, and seeds from the bell peppers and discard as well. Place the roasted pepper “flesh”, garlic, and about a tablespoon of olive oil in the base of a food processor or a blender. Pulse it until it is broken down before adding the basil, red wine vinegar, honey, sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste. Puree again until it is smooth and pour-able. (You might need to add a bit of water if you feel your puree is too thick, but only a bit at a time.) Be sure to taste it to adjust the seasoning.
Finally, layer your grilled cauliflower steaks onto a plate or platter. Drizzle a bit of your roasted pepper and basil coulis over the tops of your “steaks”. Finish them with a sprinkling of toasted pine nuts and serve. Serve warm or room temperature and enjoy.