Cauliflower “steaks” make a great alternative to various meats if you follow a plant-based diet, or if you are looking for a change of pace. Cauliflower can be used as a meat substitute in many traditional dishes, such as my Cauliflower, Cashew and Carrot Curry. In this recipe I’ve used cauliflower in place of veal shanks to make a delicious Cauliflower Osso Bucco. For convenience, I call this dish Osso Bucco due to the flavors, even though it does not involve any hollow bones when made with vegetarian ingredients.
Cauliflower steaks are easy to make – simply wash a head of cauliflower, remove the extra leaves and bottom of the stalk, and slice vertically into 1 – 1 ½” thick “steaks.” Use them for Osso Bucco as a substitute for the meat, and reduce the cooking time to keep them from becoming too mushy.
Cauliflower Osso Bucco (serves 3)
- 1 lb. fresh cauliflower
- 1/4 cup of white whole wheat flour for dredging
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 carrots
- 2 tsp. lemon zest
- 1 cup tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- salt and pepper, to taste
1. Slice cauliflower into “steaks.”
2. Dredge cauliflower in flour (you may need to dip it in water briefly first to get the flour to stick). Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Place olive oil in large skillet and briefly brown the cauliflower steaks on medium high heat until a rich golden color. Turn at least once during cooking to prevent burning and ensure steaks have a slight golden crust on both sides.
4. Push cauliflower to the side of the pan (or remove it to a plate if pan is too crowded) and add the garlic, lemon zest and carrots. Saute for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Add the tomato paste and broth and stir until blended. (If you removed the cauliflower from the pan in step 3, add it back to the pan at this time.)
6. Cover the pan and place in the 350 degree F oven to bake for approximately 45 minutes until the cauliflower is soft. Check on it periodically to ensure there is enough liquid in the pan (you are braising the cauliflower, so the liquid should partially cover it while it cooks).
7. Adjust seasonings, if needed.
8. To serve, garnish with gremolata.
Nutrition information per serving: 170 calories; 5 grams fat; 0.5 grams saturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 220 mg sodium; 27 grams carbohydrate; 8 grams dietary fiber; 6 grams protein (values are approximate).