Cauliflower Steaks with Olive Relish and Tomato Sauce

I don't know if you read the January issue of Bon Appetite, but it. was. amazing.  It wasn't just overflowing with fantastic recipes and gorgeous pictures (per usual), but a solid 90% of those recipes were insanely healthy.  At first I was completely overwhelmed with the decision of what to make first, and then I saw this recipe. I was sold. Granted, using a caramelized cauliflower steak in place of a regular steak isn't exactly a fair trade, but when you think of it in the context of "yummy food" rather than "meat substitute"it is absolutely delicious.

I'll be honest this recipe is a bit of work since you're making a total of three dishes.  I don't know if it was the beer I was drinking while cooking, or my inability to concentrate on the conversation at hand as well as read the recipe, but there was a moment I thought to myself, "There is absolutely NO way you can blog this, you're going nuts!!" But then................

.....then I tried it.  Each of the components by themselves may seem a bit boring, but together they are aaaahhhhhmazing.  This dish perfectly harmonizes the sweet and savory of the relish with the light creaminess of the tomato sauce, and then completely surprises you with texture contrast between the raw and caramelized cauliflower. You absolutely MUST try it.  

Bonus, it's heavy on the veggies, light on the calories, AND it's another great use for your  Immersion Blender!

Cauliflower Steaks with Olive Relish and Tomato Sauce
Bon Appetite Jan 2012

1 large head of cauliflower
1/2 C pitted, oil-packed, black olives, finely chopped
3 sundried tomatoes, thinly sliced
3 1/2 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves
2 plum tomatoes, cored, quartered
Salt and pepper to taste

1) Remove leaves and trim stem of cauliflower, leaving core intact
2) Place cauliflower, core side down, on a cutting board, and using a large knife cut into 1/2" "steaks" starting from the center.  Some florets will break lose, reserve.  
3) Finely chop enough loose florets to measure 1/2 C
4) Transfer florets to a small bowl and mix with olives, sundried tomatoes, 1 tbsp olive oil, parsley, and lemon juice.  Season relish with salt and pepper.
5) Preheat oven to 400 and heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a heavy oven-proof skillet over medium high heat
6) Working in two batches, cook the cauliflower steaks until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.  Add 1 tbsp olive oil to the pan between batches.
7) Transfer the steaks to a large rimmed baking sheet (reserving the skillet) and roast until tender, about 15 minutes)
8) Return the skillet to medium high heat, and add the garlic cloves and tomatoes, cut side down.  Cook until tomatoes are browned
9) Turn tomatoes over, and transfer the entire skillet to the oven.  Roast garlic and tomatoes until tender (about 12 minutes)
10) Transfer garlic, tomatoes, and 1/2 tbsp olive oil to a blender (or use an immersion blender in a cup!) and puree until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.
11) Divide sauce among plates, place one cauliflower steak on each plate, and spoon relish over the top.

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