Cauliflower is the star of the show in this glorious Moroccan-inspired vegan dish.
Cauliflower seems to be having a moment right now in the culinary world. Used in pizza crusts and as a healthy substitute for rice and other classic comfort foods, cauliflower has become the new ‘it’ vegetable.
Some of the reasons that explain this rising cauliflower-mania are that this veg is cheap, easy to find and incredibly versatile across different cuisines.
Cauliflower is officially cool and this dish shows why it deserves the spotlight. The veg is present in almost all of the elements this plate offers – from the steak to the couscous and the purée – but the ras el hanaut spice is what really brings it to life.
Cauliflower steak with ras el hanaut, cauliflower couscous and cauliflower purée
For the cauliflower purée:
- 350 g cauliflower, leftover from the steaks
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 100 g cashews
- 600 ml almond milk
For the cauliflower couscous:
- 100 g cauliflower, leftover from the steaks
- 50 g cashews, toasted
- 30 g golden raisins
- 20 g preserved lemons
- small bunch parsley
For the ras el hanaut spice mix:
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- 1 tbsp white peppercorns
- 1 tbsp cloves
- 1 tbsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp caraway seeds
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- 10 g cardamom pods
- 10 g star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 nutmeg
- 1 tsp dried rose petals
- pinch saffron threads
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 50 g wild rice
- vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 punnet coriander cress
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Slice the cauliflower into two one-inch steaks – use the middle part as it’s larger. Carefully place in a bowl suitable for steaming and set aside the leftover cauliflower for the purée and couscous.
2. Score the core of the cauliflower, then steam over a bain-marie until cooked halfway through. Carefully remove the steaks and allow to cool.
To make the ras el hanout spice mix:
3. In a frying pan set over low heat, dry roast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns, cloves, turmeric, caraway seeds, fennel seeds, cardamom pods and star anise.
4. Once lightly toasted and smelling fragrant, place in a spice grinder along with the cinnamon, nutmeg, saffron and smoked paprika and blend to a fine powder.
To make the cauliflower purée:
5. Slice the leftover cauliflower florets.
6. In a large pan, sweat the onion in the oil.
7. In another pan, toast the cashews then leave to cool. Roughly chop and set aside 50 g for the couscous.
8. Add the cauliflower florets and remaining cashews to the onions and sweat until translucent.
9. Sprinkle over 1 dessertspoon of ras el hanout, pour in the almond milk and cook until tender.
10. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend until smooth.
To make the cauliflower couscous:
11. Put the remaining cauliflower in a food processor and whizz until it resembles couscous.
12. Line a colander with muslin cloth, put the couscous inside, season and steam over a bain-marie for two minutes, then set aside to cool.
13. Rehydrate the raisins with a little hot water from the bain-marie, then drain and add to the couscous.
14. Dice the preserved lemons and chop the parsley. Fold into the couscous along with the reserved chopped cashews.
15. Heat vegetable oil in a large pan to 220°C. Quickly add the rice for five seconds until puffed. Remove and place directly on kitchen paper.
16. Fry the cauliflower steak in oil until lightly coloured then sprinkle with ras el hanout and one tablespoon of water. Flip over and cook until tender.
17. To serve, spread a layer of cauliflower purée on the plate and top with couscous, carefully place the cauliflower steak on top then sprinkle over coriander cress and puffed rice.