Cauliflower Steaks with Pine Nut Dressing {and Giveaway!}

cauliflower steaks with pine nut dressing

I’d like to introduce you to someone I’ve never met – but sure would like to… Her name is Georgia Pellegrini, and she’s amazing. She’s the kind of gal you’d discover if you Googled the words “chef, adventurer, gunslinger, photographer, beautiful, brilliant.” She’s the real deal. And these Cauliflower Steaks with Pine Nut Dressing are from her latest book “Modern Pioneering.”

Here’s a picture of her. See what I mean?

cauliflower steaks - georgia pellegrini

She dedicates this book to her aunt and her grandmother, and I love how she explains her approach to life:

Because of Great-Aunt Gray, I have always liked to get dirt under my fingernails. Because of Grandma Pellegrini, those fingernails have always been well-manicured. They are the two women who opened my eyes to what it means to be a fearless girl. The last of a generation that knew how to kill a chicken in the backyard for dinner, that wasted nothing, that made the best of what they had and never pointed out what they didn’t. Thanks to them, I learned to cook with economy, with respect for simple ingredients.

The book not only includes some terrific recipes, but she shares some great do-it-yourself projects and “skills for a self-sufficient life.” A few of my favorites ::

  • … turn a watermelon into a beverage dispenser
  • … the benefits of rinsing your hair with beer
  • … use cayenne pepper to stop bleeding
  • … build a birdhouse out of a gourd
  • … assemble a 48-hour survival kit in an Altoids tin

All that, and over 100 delicious recipes.

While Georgia’s cooking style could most often be called “gun to table,” this time, her “prey” is a simple head of cauliflower.

The dressing is simple, the flavor combination is fabulous. The lemon juice gives it a bit of tang, which is tempered by the sweetness of the raisins {just go ahead and double those!} and the freshness of the parsley. The subtle crunch of toasted pine nuts adds another element, and it all adds up to YUM!

I find I need to go a bit longer in the oven with my cauliflower to get it tender {the recipe reflects that}.

Cauliflower Steaks with Pine Nut Dressing
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 2 large heads of cauliflower (bonus if you have the purple, green, or yellow variety)
  • 1 Tbs. kosher salt
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ¹⁄8 cup golden raisins
  • ¼ cup finely chopped parsley leaves
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. With a large chef’s knife, cut the cauliflower from top to bottom through the largest part of the head, into cross sections about 1½ inches thick. Depending on the size of the cauliflower you should get at least 2 per head.
  3. Set the remaining scraps aside and place the 4 cauliflower steaks in one large baking dish, or two medium baking dishes. Pour water into the dish to reach a height of about ½ inch. Sprinkle the steaks with the salt and cover the dish tightly with foil. Place it in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender when pierced with a knife.
  4. Remove the dish from the oven and, using a spatula, carefully transfer the steaks to a plate. Let cool slightly while you make the dressing.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the pine nuts, raisins, parsley, olive oil, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to marinate.
  6. To serve the cauliflower steaks, melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Brown the cauliflower in the butter, about 3 minutes per side, until browned like a steak. Remove to a serving dish and drizzle with the dressing.
This is an unexpected way to serve cauliflower and it is especially beautiful to look at on the plate, a reminder that, as Grandma Pellegrini taught me, presentation is equally as important as taste. When served with this tangy and nutty dressing, cauliflower doesn’t just look exciting, it tastes exciting as well.

If I wanted to make this for a side dish, rather than the “main event” at a meal, I’d probably make my Roasted Cauliflower  and then toss it with this dressing – just to have room on the plate for a fish fillet or chicken… Either way, it’s a delicious addition to your repertoire.

Would you like to win a copy of “Modern Pioneering?”  I’m giving a copy away to a reader this week! There are several ways to enter, below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We need to fill our manicured hands with berries that we have picked ourselves. Only then will we feel truly full.

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