Grilled Cauliflower “Steaks” with Spicy Lentil Sauce

This meal was a knock-out. Everyone in our family gobbled it up. Who knew we’d enjoy cauliflower so much! I think it’s because it was relatively easy to put together, and we felt so good after eating a grain-free, vegan meal. Sure, our family eats meat regularly, but you don’t need meat every day. The book, Forks Over Knives – The Cookbook by Del Sroufe, was the source of this recipe. Many dishes in this book are a wonderful base, but some, like this, need an extra culinary “push” to make them truly amazing.

cauli-steak-lentil2 medium heads cauliflower
4-6 cloves garlic
1/3 cup diced onion
1/2 tsp minced fresh sage
1/2 tsp ground fennel
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flake
1/2 tsp green or red lentils, rinsed
juice of one lemon
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
salt and pepper
1 tbsp coconut oil or grass-fed butter
Chopped parsley
chili oil or olive oil (optional)
thin lemon slice (optional – for garnish)

Cut each cauliflower head in half lengthwise through the stem (to hold the entire “steak” together). Cut each half again in the same direction so that you get 1″ thick slices. The ends may break apart – which you can just roast with everything else or save for another dish later.

Saute garlic, onion, sage, fennel, red pepper flakes, and lentils with the coconut oil or butter over medium heatĀ for 3 minutes in a medium saucepan until fragrant. Add vegetable stock and bring mixture to a boil over high heat for 1 minute. Reduce heat back to a simmer. Cook covered for 45 minutes or until lentils are very soft. If you lose a lot of water from the boiling process, add more water to keep it loose.

Once the lentils are tender, remove the saucepan from heat and cool for 5 minutes. Blend the mixture in an immersion (“stick”) blender or a regular blender. During this blending process add salt and pepper to taste. Also add the lemon to taste (usually 1 tablespoon of lemon juice should do it).

Heat the grill on high or set your broiler to high with the rack at the top most position. Place the cauliflower “steaks” on the grill and cook each side for 5 minutes until the “flowers” have a nice char to them. Remove to a plate and cover to finish cooking. If using an oven, place “steaks” in a baking sheet and broil for 5-7 minutes until edges have similar char. Remove and rest for 5 minutes to finish cooking process.

Carefully plate one “steak” on a plate. Add a ladle of the lentil sauce. Top with parsley, a dash of sea salt, fresh cracked pepper, and chili or olive oil drizzle.