Blue Plate Special #5: Cauliflower Steaks & Red Quinoa Pilaf

This is a colorful, light, and surprisingly easy meal to make: roasted cauliflower steaks served over mashed cauliflower, red quiona pilaf and spinach. 

1 head of cauliflower
1/2 cup red quinoa, cooked
1 onion, diced
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 box fresh baby spinach
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 400.

Usually I can only get 2 cauliflower steaks out of one head of cauliflower.   Take off the leaves and if there is a long stem, cut it down so you can rest the cauliflower evenly on the cutting board.  Slice it right down the center.  Then slice a 1/4″ thick piece from the long side of each side.  Place onto a baking dish and brush with olive oil.  Then with a pair of tongs, gently turn the steaks over, and coat the other side.  Place in the oven for about 30 minutes, turning them over at the 15 minute mark.

Place the remaining cauliflower in a pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil.

Dice up the onion and caramelize it in olive oil and a little salt.  Let it go for a while on a medium flame. 

At the same time, cover the 1/2 cup of quinoa with 1 cup of water.  Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer.  When the water is absorbed, the quinoa is done.  This usually takes about 7 to 8 minutes.  Check to see how the quinoa is doing.  If there is a little water left, turn off the flame and cover the pot to finish the cooking process. 

Place the pine nuts in a skillet and toast them.

Add the quinoa, nuts, raisins into the pan with the onions and mix it all together letting the flavors combine.  Take it off the flame, cover it, and set it aside.

Drain the cauliflower and using an immersion blender (or potato masher) process the cauliflower.  It will look like mashed potatoes.  Season with salt and chives.

Heat up a very little bit of olive oil and place all of the spinach into the skillet.  Season it generously with salt.  Toss it around to coat all the leaves with salt and oil as it reduces down and cooks.  

Take the cauliflower steaks out of the oven.  The florets will be a lovely golden brown!

On a plate, make a pile of spinach.  Cover the spinach with the quinoa pilaf.  Gently layering a heaping spoonful of cauliflower mash on top.  And then using the tongs, gently place the cauliflower steak on top.

Eat immediately!

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