Avocado Cauliflower Steaks with California Avocado Gremolata
One of my favorite dishes to whip up when I need to serve something on the fancier side, but am short on time, is cauliflower steaks. They take 30 minutes to prepare, but I love the way they look and they are super versatile. You can pair them with all sorts of flavors and side dishes and have a fantastic meal. My favorite way to cook cauliflower steaks these days is to first pan-sear them and then finishing cooking them in the oven. This way you get a bit of caramelization going (and flavor!) with the pan-searing and then transferring them to the oven to finish cooking frees up your hands, and your stove top, so that you can be working on side dishes or on a sauce to serve with your cauliflower steaks.
Another favorite trick of mine is to mash up some California Avocado with a bit of lemon juice and water, then use that mixture in place of oil to brush the steaks with before cooking. The steaks cook up beautifully and you get a different flavor and color than if you used oil.
A favorite condiment of mine, especially now that spring is here, and slightly warmer weather, is gremolata, and it goes perfectly with a good cauliflower steak. Gremolata is a classic Italian condiment, typically made with a mixture of minced parsley and garlic and grated lemon peel. Because cauliflower steaks are lighter and less rich than the braised veal shank that gremolata traditionally goes with, I add the rest of avocado, leftover from making the mixture to brush onto the cauliflower steaks, to my gremolata, as well as a squeeze of lemon juice to prevent browning, and some salt to make all the flavors pop.
Bright flavors and colors, and whips up in about 30 minutes, this dish is sure to impress!
Avocado Cauliflower Steaks with California Avocado Gremolata Recipe
Makes 2 to 3 servings
For the avocado cauliflower steaks:
1 large head cauliflower
1/4 ripe fresh, California avocado (Note: you will use the rest of the avocado in the gremolata)
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
5 – 6 teaspoons cold water
Salt and Pepper, to taste
For the avocado gremolata
1/3 cup finely minced flat-leaf parsley
Zest, finely grated, of 2 lemons
5 cloves garlic, crushed and finely minced
3/4 avocado, finely chopped
Squeeze of lemon juice
Salt, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Carefully remove the outer leaves of the cauliflower and tri the steam, while leaving the core intact. Using a large chef’s knife, cut the cauliflower from the top down to the stem end into 3 “steaks” that are about ¾-inch thick.
- Mash 1/4 of the avocado with the lemon juice until it is as smooth as possible. There will still be some small chunks. Begin adding 1 teaspoon of cold water at a time until your avocado mixture can be brushed on to your steaks. (5 – 6 teaspoons cold water) Brush both sides of the cauliflower steaks with the avocado mixture, then season each steak on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, then sear the cauliflower steaks, one at a time, until the edges begin to turn golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Carefully transfer the steaks to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Roast the steaks in the preheated oven until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- While the steaks are cooking, mix all of the gremolata ingredients together, then set aside.
- Transfer the cooked steaks to individual plates and spoon the gremolata over them. Serve immediately.