Dynamite Duos: Jay Z and Beyoncé, Victoria and David, Sonny and Cher – there are some duos that just work. CSL has a series of three recipes sure to be the new all-round culinary couples du jour. In this second in the series of complimentary culinary pairs: cauliflower and hummus. This versatile cruciferous vegetable is the on-trend culinary darling. Its meaty texture is great for vegans and vegetarians or as a filling side dish, any day of the week. Paired with protein-rich hummus it makes for a quick and easy lunch!
Who loves a good meatless meal these days? This dynamic and protein rich combo is everything you want. First, we caramelize a steak of cauliflower in a pan, lay it on a bed of hummus, top with a pistachio-pea-parsley pesto, fresh chickpeas (packed with protein and fibre), feta cheese, and toasted hazelnuts for extra crunch. The key to not getting bored, and achieving that satisfying chew (à la meat) is adding tons of textures in one bite.
1 head of cauliflower sliced into 4 steaks
1 teaspoon (5 ml) turmeric
1 teaspoon (5 ml) cayenne
2 teaspoon (10 ml) salt
6 tablespoons (90 ml)
2 cups (500 ml) chickpeas
3 cups (750 ml) water
½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground cumin
3 tablespoons (45 ml) tahini (sesame) paste
4 garlic cloves
½ cup (125 ml) olive oil
3 tablespoons (45 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) salt
Water as needed
3 tablespoons (45 ml) pistachio and
Italian parsley pesto (see recipe below)
3 tablespoons (45 ml) dried barberry (optional)
3 tablespoons (45 ml) feta cheese, crumbled
¼ cup (60 ml) cooked chickpeas (reserved from above)
2 tablespoons (30 ml) walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 sprig of flat leafed parsley, chopped
Heat a pan over high heat. Meanwhile, use a pastry brush to coat cauliflower steaks liberally with oil (about 1 tablespoon each). Sprinkle each with salt and spices. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan for each steak and sear until edges turn deep brown and caramelized. For the hummus, cover chickpeas in cold water and soak overnight. Strain water from chickpeas. Fill with fresh water, careful to cover chickpeas. Boil until soft, about 1hour to 1 hour and a half (or use a pressure cooked to cook). Reserve ¼ cup. Place the remaining chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, tahini paste, cumin, salt and lemon juice in a food processor and blend until combined. If too thick, add a tablespoon at a time of warm water to loosen the mixture and until desired consistency is achieved. To assemble, place a spoonful of hummus on each plate and place cauliflower steak on top. Dot with ¼ of pesto and sprinkle with ¼ of remaining ingredients. Repeat with remaining cauliflower steaks.
Pistachio and Italian Parsley Pesto
Whip up a batch of this pesto, and freeze in an ice tray. Take out to use anytime you need a kick of fresh herbs. To make, heat 3 tablespoons of pistachios in a skillet over medium heat until roasted, about 3-5 minutes. Place in a blender with ½ cup packed fresh Italian parsley, 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 3 cloves chopped garlic, ¼ cup grated Parmesan, ½ teaspoon salt. Pulse until mixture comes together with a texture of heavy cream.
Davids Pulled Pork Dry Spice
Let’s face it, though it has a super satisfying robust texture, cauliflower’s actual flavour can be pretty bland. This blend of spices (including paprika, onion, garlic, sea salt, pepper) adds the perfect amount of background flavour without overpowering the other accompaniments. 200g; qualifirst.com
Patak’s Butter Chickpeas
Bulk out meatless Mondays with protein packed chickpeas. Gently spiced in a butter sauce, the earthy notes compliment cauliflower and is as easy as tossing in a saucepan to reheat in minutes. 285g; pataks.ca
Spectrum Organics Organic Extra Virgin Mediterranean Olive Oil
Opening the bottle, the fruity olive oil aroma permeates the air, while the signature green-yellow hue portends a depth of flavour not found in many shelf-brand olive oils. Liberally drizzle over vegetables or use in salad dressings, and marinades. 1L; spectrumorganics.com
Fresh cheese has a very short shelf life (approximately 3 weeks). That’s why JK Overwheel, an importer of fine cheese, offers a fly-in program directly from farms in Italy to Canada. This ensures optimal freshness. Among the most coveted of fresh cheeses are: burrata, with a soft mozzarella outer casing filled with stracciatella and cream; Fior Di Latte, a sweeter and less fatty mozzarella; and Buffalo Mozzarella, a fresh cheese traditionally made from the milk of water buffalo. Pair any of the three with salads, roasted vegetables or luxuriously top on pizza, or pasta. (If All three also taste great just topped with pesto (see recipe above). Try these: Deliziosa Buratta, Santa Lucia Fior Di Latte Mozzarella, Garofalo Buffalo Mozzarella PDO. jkoverweel.com
This original food article first appeared in the Fall 2021 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.