Oh humble cauliflower, how far we’ve come!
I’ve mentioned before (in my pizza post) that I was astounded to watch cauliflower go down the hatch of my man. A man who adamantly declared his disdain for said vege on our first date. But here we are, not even five years later and he’s eating cauliflower as a salad, storing away the leftovers for lunch the next day.
Turns out cauliflower is not so evil after all.
These days the humble cauliflower excites me, it has great potential and versatility. It’s the eternally optimistic vegetable, the “I can be whatever you want me to be” addition to your meals. From featuring in the initial pizza base, to being a perfect curry accompaniment, or a velvety mash for that splash-out pork belly meal – cauliflower is gaining some serious frequent flyer miles in our kitchen.
Cauliflower takes the heaviness out of meals and can adapt to so many flavours. It’s a great gluten, and also grain, free way of enjoying your standard dishes. This meal here is light and flavourful, a scrumptious way to end a summery day. Play around with the salad ingredients as you like depending on what you have, the cauliflower rice will morph with whatever flavours you prefer.
Perhaps you could convince a cauliflower hater, that maybe it’s not really so bad after all 🙂
Cauliflower Rice Salad with Roasted Capsicum Steak & Aioli Dressing (serves 4)
1 med/large red capsicum
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves
4 tbsp aioli (such as this one here)
1 tbsp coconut oil (or ghee or butter if you’re ok with dairy)
1/2 large (or 1 small/med) cauliflower head
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp water
1 large handful of cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 yellow capsicum, thinly sliced
1 large handful almonds, chopped
2 tbsp fresh mint, diced
2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, diced
juice of 1 lemon
400-500g steak of choice (I use a rump cut)
Preheat the oven to 200’C (390’F). Place the capsicum and garlic cloves on a baking tray and bake for 15mins or until the skin of the capsicum is beginning to blister (it’s ok if the skin is turning black).
Set aside to cool (enough so that you can touch it without burning yourself!) then remove the skin of the capsicum – it should come off easy-peasy, along with the stem and seeds. Place the capsicum and garlic in a blender along with the salt, smoked paprika, and coriander, and blitz until smooth.
In a small bowl, add your aioli. Spoon in 3 tbsp of your roasted capsicum sauce and stir to combine. Store, covered, in the refrigerator until required later.
Use the rest of the roasted capsicum sauce to marinade the steak for 2+ hours.
When nearing dinner time, remove any leaves from the cauliflower, then break it up into chunks with your hand and place it in your food processor. Pulse this until it breaks up into rice-sized pieces.
Heat a pan over a medium heat on your stove. Add the coconut oil/ghee/butter. Once melted, throw in the cauliflower, garlic, and salt. Stir together before pouring in the water. Stir the cauliflower lightly while the water steams through and cooks the cauliflower to an ‘al-dente’ texture (you don’t want it to be completely mushy. Remove from the heat and pour it into a large bowl. Add your cherry tomatoes, yellow capsicum, almonds, mint, coriander, and lemon juice. Stir well to mix it all together nicely. Set aside for serving.
Wash out your pan, then return it to a medium/high heat on your stove. Grease if necessary. Then cook your steak to your liking. Once it reaches your preferred level (rare through to well done, you choose!) set aside on a chopping board to rest. Spoon any remaining marinade sauce into the hot pan (if there’s some left in the bowl/plate you used) and turn the heat off, allowing this to cook down a little in the residual heat.
Once the meat has rested, slice it into think slices. Toss it back in the pan for a couple stirs to collect any remaining roast capsicum sauce.
Now assembly time!! Spoon your cauliflower rice salad onto your plates, top with slices of steak and spoon over (or serve on the side) your Roasted Capsicum Aoili Dressing. Top with a little fresh coriander (if desired) and serve 🙂