The humble head of cauliflower is finally a top ingredient. Chefs are using the bewitching brassica in meatless preparations that are equally satiating and satisfying. Here are 10 top cauliflower dishes perfect for autumn dining.
Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab, Washington, D.C.
Vegetarians can now dig into a steak. Well, cauliflower steak. Herb marinated and char-grilled, the meaty masterpiece comes with an arugula herb pistou and a garnishing salad of shaved fennel and pink lady apples. Make a reservation at Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab.
Summer House Santa Monica, North Bethesda, Maryland
Steak frites has never been so, er, vegetarian. A hearty cut of seared cauliflower is lavished with lemon herb butter and served with the requisite French fries. All of the gratification, hardly any of the guilt. Make a reservation at Summer House Santa Monica.
KYU, Miami, Florida
For when you want something hearty but not heavy. Topped with chopped shiso, the flavorful florets sit on goat cheese and verdant shishito vinaigrette. To best enjoy the dish, cut up the cauli and mix it together with the other components. Make a reservation at KYU.
Ray’s & Stark Bar, Los Angeles, California
Eat the rainbow. Purple and orange heirloom cauliflower, fractalized green Roman cauliflower, orange cubes of butternut squash, and snowy white celeriac and coconut cream all grace the plate. Fall has never tasted so colorful. Make a reservation at Ray’s & Stark Bar.
EDEN Local, New York, New York
Here’s a steak dinner that’s vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free. A filet of roasted cauliflower is the star. It comes with a supporting cast of sultana raisin gremolata, spiced pine nuts, and coconut yogurt. Make a reservation at EDEN Local.
Meat Market, Miami Beach, Florida
Get ready to play some serious head games. A cranium of cauliflower is coronated with lemon, parsley, and parmesan. #DeliciousDome. Make a reservation at Meat Market.
ETA Restaurant + Bar, Chicago, Illinois
This hash is a smash. It features a roasty mélange of nut-noted cauliflower, herbed potatoes, and pearl onions. A ladleful of hollandaise and a flood of yolk from the poached egg add a rich creaminess. Make a reservation at ETA Restaurant + Bar.
Founding Farmers, Tysons Corner, Virginia
No cows were harmed in the making of this steak. The cauli-filet is so tender you can cut it with a butter knife. Risotto fills out the plate. Make a reservation at Founding Farmers.
Mattie’s, Austin, Texas
Think of this as a play on General Tso’s cauliflower. Crispy florets are tossed in tamarind barbecue sauce and decorated with Thai bird’s eye chilies and scallions. Crispy, crunchy, spicy, and savory. Make a reservation at Mattie’s.
Brio Tuscan Grille, Irvine, California
This cauliflower has a Sicilian accent. Tumbled in a pepperoncini and lemon-garlic-caper sauce, it’s finished with plenty of breadcrumbs and parmesan. Delizioso! Make a reservation at Brio Tuscan Grille.
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Nevin Martell is a Washington, D.C.-based food and travel writer and the author of several books, including Freak Show Without A Tent: Swimming with Piranhas, Getting Stoned in Fiji and Other Family Vacations. Find him on Twitter @nevinmartell and Instagram @nevinmartell.
Photo credits: Roger Ho (Mattie’s); Anjali Pinto (Joe’s); Jenna Kaplan (Summer House Santa Monica).