I immediately turn to cauliflower whenever I need to make a vegetarian version of a dish. Cauliflower is such a versatile vegetable that it can be manipulated in almost any way. Swap out the meat in curries for cauliflower, use cauliflower for rice, the list is endless. To add on to the list of wonderful cauliflower dishes, I made crispy cauliflower steaks with lemon walnut sauce. Imagine creamy whipped goat cheese, panko-crusted cauliflower, crispy chickpeas, and a tangy lemon walnut caper parsley sauce to top it off. The combination is utterly delicious!
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
With our current situation with the coronavirus invading the U.S., I’m avoiding going to the market at all costs. This means using what I have at home to create a delicious meal. By using several pantry items such as capers and chickpeas, I was able to come up with these crispy cauliflower steaks with lemon walnut sauce. Don’t worry if you don’t have all of the ingredients because I have all the substitutions for you!
Let’s get started by making the crispy chickpeas. You can swap the chickpeas for another bean but just note that they won’t get crispy like chickpeas. Instead, marinate them in olive oil, salt, pepper, and sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar to give it a punch. You can also skip the beans altogether, it won’t ruin the dish.
To get perfectly crispy chickpeas, make sure to drain, rinse and dry the beans. Drying the beans is crucial, allowing the oil to properly coat the beans and give it that crunchy exterior.
Next, prepare the cauliflower. Set up your breading station including whisked eggs, flour, and seasoned panko. Cut the cauliflower into slices, making sure not to cut the cauliflower too thick. If it’s too thick, the breading will brown before the cauliflower is cooked. Watch the cauliflower as it cooks, if it seems to be browning too quickly, lower the heat. Alternatively, brown the cauliflower on the pan and finish cooking them in the oven.
Now for the sauce, you want to prep all of the ingredients before cooking because it does come together very quickly. You may be hesitant to use anchovies but it adds a beautiful umami flavor to the sauce that no other ingredient can contribute. As you cook the anchovies, you’ll notice that they “melt” away in the oil. What is left is not a fishy taste but just a punch of savory goodness.
If you don’t have walnuts, use almonds, pistachios, or pecans. Use basil or cilantro instead of parsley, swap the shallots for red onions or even use limes instead of lemons.
Whip the goat cheese with a touch of milk until creamy and spread it on a plate. No goat cheese? No problem! Whipped ricotta or creamy burrata would work wonderfully. With such an adaptable dish, these cauliflower steaks with lemon walnut sauce may be the lifesaver of your quarantine!
Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.