Cauliflower Steaks with Curry Leaf Oil and Red Wine Cherry Sauce

Cauliflower Steaks: a vegetarian delight that challenges the norms of flavor.

Cauliflower Steaks with Curry Leaf Oil and Red Wine Cherry Sauce Recipe

INGREDIENTS

For Cauliflower Steaks

2 dense heads of cauliflower
Safeyya’s Kitchen Yaji Spice to taste
Salt to taste
A few tbsp of neutral oil, like rice bran, grapeseed, or canola
Pomegranate seeds for garnish
Crushed pistachios for garnish

For Curry Leaf Oil

25 curry leaves
Enough oil to cover, approximately ½ cup

For Red Wine Cherry Sauce

2 tbsp + 1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup finely minced shallots
1 ½ tsp grated ginger
16 oz bag frozen pitted sweet dark cherries
1/2 cup red wine
1 tsp Safeyya’s Kitchen yaji spice
1 tsp Balsamic vinegar
2 tsp curry leaf oil
1 tsp dark brown sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove the leaves at the base of the cauliflower, then cut off the thick base. Next, slice the cauliflower lengthwise through the core into 4 steaks. The ends may fall apart; that is why you have 2 heads of cauliflower to get 4 good steaks.
  2. Mix the oil, Yaji spice, and salt to make a paste and rub on all sides of the cauliflower steaks.
  3. You can line a baking sheet with parchment paper so that the cauliflower doesn’t stick or coat it with some oil before placing it on it to get a caramelized golden crust. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until cauliflower is tender and cooked through.
  4. To make the curry leaf oil, preheat the oven to 225 degrees. Place the fresh curry leaves in a small ovenproof dish. Pour enough oil to cover the leaves and place in the oven for approximately 30-40 minutes or until the leaves have lost their green color and infused the oil with their flavor. Once cooled, place in a tightly sealed container and use within 2 weeks.
  5. Heat a saucepan and melt 2 tablespoons of butter to make the red wine cherry sauce. Add the finely minced shallots and sauté until lightly golden, then add the grated ginger and cook for 30 seconds.
  6. Next, add the thawed sweet dark cherries and stir. Let cook for a minute before adding the red wine and Yaji spice. Stir and cook for another minute.
  7. Pour the balsamic vinegar and curry leaf oil and sprinkle in the dark brown sugar. Add salt and pepper to taste and simmer until the flavors combine.
  8. The sauce may still be a little runny. To thicken, stir some of the sauce with the cornstarch, add back in, and cook for another 30 seconds.
  9. Finally, add a tbsp of butter, stir, and take off the heat.
  10. To serve, plate the cauliflower steaks, pour on the sauce, drizzle with a little extra curry leaf oil, and top with pomegranate seeds and crushed pistachios.

*Note: I used safeyyas.com to order my Yaji spice. This is the brand I prefer, but you can purchase Yaji spice at Amazon or, if you are local to Pittsburgh, visit Global Food Market on Penn Ave.

Recipe by Veda Sankaran ⁠/ Photography by Dave Bryce

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