Friday 29 January
Vegan food is becoming strangely fashionable, and its chief avatar is the grilled cauliflower "steak." There are lots of recipes out there, and most of them airily assure us that the little cauliflower florets that fall off when you're cutting the steaks "can be saved for some other use" (compost?), and result in something that has brown hashmarks outside but is uncomfortably crispy inside. This recipe uses the loose florets in the relish or sauce that tops the steaks; and since it finishes in the oven, the "steaks" are tender all the way through.
We got four steaks out of a single golden cauliflower, but didn't think it made much sense to make two separate sauces or to top a hot dish with a cold relish. So we made a combination: a half cup each of Moroccan black olives and sun-dried tomatoes in oil, cooked up with a few anchovy fillets, the loose cauliflower florets, and a sufficient drench of white wine to hold it all together. We garnished it with whatever parsley and hardier oregano leaves we could pick from our frozen garden. And when the cauliflower came out of the oven (after only 10 minutes), we put them together.
Actually, there was no need for anchovy, as the sauce already packed plenty of umami.