Cauliflower steaks braised in blood orange

 

This is a hearty winter dish of seasonal British vegetables, with some middle eastern spicing. The cauliflower is braised in blood orange juice and cardamom. The Jerusalem artichoke (a root, which is no relative of the artichoke but recalls its flavour) combined with tahini, garlic and walnuts creates a deep, sweet and earthy contrast to the zesty cauliflower flavours.

Serves 2

One small cauliflower
6 Jerusalem artichokes
A handful of walnuts
1 tbsp tahini
3 cardamom pods
1 tsp toasted cumin seeds
2 large garlic cloves
Pinch of sumac
3 blood oranges
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp Apple mollasses
I cup of water
A handful of Swiss chard
Salt
Olive oil

Method

Cut 2 cauliflower steaks by slicing carefully, removing the leaves and stem, placing the cauliflower stem side down and slicing across parallel to the core. Reserve the florets that crumble off.

Slice the chard leaves from the stem (keep the stem) and thinly slice. Marinate in the red wine vinegar with salt and a pinch of sumac.

Place the cauliflower leaves and stem and chard stem in a pan with the peeled Jerusalem artichokes, the whole garlic and a glass of water and simmer until soft (approximately 20 minutes). Toast the walnuts in a pan setting aside 4 or 5 of them. When the artichokes and stems are tender place in a blender with a teaspoon of salt, cumin, the walnuts and the tahini and blend. Return to the pan to re heat before serving

Slice the reserved walnuts in half length ways, gently heat in a pan with the apple molasses or honey mixed with red wine vinegar and set aside.

Heat a frying pan and add 4 tbsp olive oil and the cardamom pods. Season each side with salt and fry the cauliflower steaks approximately 10 minutes each side on a medium heat. After 10 minutes in the pan add the florets set aside earlier. Once it has colour (preferably some charred edges) and is softened, juice the oranges and add them to the pan with a generous drizzle of olive oil simmer spooning it over the cauliflower until it reduces to a sticky consistency. Swirl the pan and keep an eye on it otherwise the orange may burn and stick.

Reheat the artichoke sauce at this point.

To serve place a large tablespoon of the chard on a plate with the cauliflower steak on top and a large spoonful of the orange sauce. Place a spoonful of the artichoke sauce next to it with a few of the florets and reserved walnuts.

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