Eating Local: The Cookbook Inspired by America's Farmers by Janet Fletcher Hardcover, 320 pages Andrews McMeel Publishing List price: $35
From each head of cauliflower, you can cut two thick "steaks," slicing from top to bottom near the center to yield a pair of slices each held together by the core. This might seem wasteful if it weren't for the many uses for the remaining florets, such as Cream of Cauliflower and Fennel Soup. The resulting "steaks," seared on the grill, make a head-turning presentation with a creamy tahini sauce. Serve as a first course before grilled lamb or fish. Use any leftover sauce on grilled vegetables, fish, or roasted beets.
1/4 cup tahini, stirred well to blend 1/4 cup water 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 large clove garlic, minced 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro Kosher or sea salt 2 medium cauliflowers Extra virgin olive oil Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
1. Prepare a moderate charcoal fire for indirect grilling or preheat a gas grill to medium (375 degrees F), leaving one burner unlit.
2. To make the tahini sauce, in a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, 1/4 cup water, and 2 tablespoons lemon juice until smooth. Whisk in the garlic, cilantro, and salt to taste. Taste and adjust with more lemon juice, if desired.
3. Trim each cauliflower, removing any leaves and cutting the stem flush with the base. Set the cauliflower, cut side down, on a cutting board. With a chef’s knife, cut 2 "steaks." each about 3/4 inch thick, from the center of the cauliflower, so that the core holds each slice together. Repeat with the second cauliflower. Reserve the remaining cauliflower for another use.
4. Put the 4 cauliflower steaks on a tray and brush one side with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Turn the steaks over, brush the second side, and season with salt and pepper.
5. Place the steaks over indirect heat, cover the grill, and cook, turning once, until tender when pierced. about 15 minutes total. For the final minute or so of cooking, uncover the grill and move the cauliflower directly over the coals or flame to char it slightly.
6. Transfer the steaks to a platter and drizzle with the tahini sauce; you may not need it all. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot or warm.
Excerpted from Eating Local: The Cookbook Inspired by America's Farmers by Janet Fletcher. Copyright 2010. Reprinted by permission of Andrews McMeel Publishing.