Vegan Cauliflower “Steak” with Basil Oil
Vegan Cauliflower “Steak” with Quinoa
- 2 cups well-washed basil leaves
- 1 cup grapeseed oil, chilled
- 2 large heads cauliflower, cut into 1-inch-thick “steaks”
- Olive oil for coating and sauting
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1-1/2 cups vegetable stock, divided
- 2 shallots, sliced
- 1 leek, rinsed and sliced (white part only)
- 1 small apple, peeled and diced
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- ½ cup zucchini in ¼-inch dice
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
- To make the basil oil, blanch the basil in boiling water (1 minute) and then shock in ice water; dry leaves well. In a blender, puree the basil and grapeseed oil; strain to get rid of any large leaf pieces and set aside.
- At the largest part of each cauliflower head, cut two 1-inch-thick slices, or “steaks.” Reserve the remaining cauliflower.
- In a large saute pan coated with olive oil, brown the cauliflower steaks until golden brown on each side. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Over medium-low heat, saute the quinoa in 1 tablespoon olive oil until a nutty aroma is achieved. Turn down the heat and add 1 cup of stock; simmer until almost dry. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
- Cut the remaining cauliflower into small florets and blanch in salted water until tender. Drain and spread florets on a baking sheet and place in a 300-degree oven for about 15 minutes, or until florets have dried.
- In a saute pan, gently cook the shallots, leek, apple and garlic over medium-low heat until tender.
- Add the cauliflower florets and season with salt and pepper.
- Remove from heat, place in blender, and puree. (You will only need a few teaspoons for this recipe. The remaining puree can be frozen or thinned with stock for a cauliflower soup.)
- In a large saute pan coated with oil, saute the zucchini until slightly golden brown.
- Add the cooked quinoa and remaining vegetable stock. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add 2 teaspoons cauliflower puree to thicken, add thyme and chives, and drizzle with basil oil.
- On each of 4 plates, place a cauliflower steak on bed of quinoa-and-zucchini mixture and drizzle the basil oil around the plate.