Cauliflower vs Broccoli
Cauliflower and broccoli have a lot in common, so much so they’re often served together as part of a restaurant’s vegetable medley. (I know this because I cooked this for hundreds of diners during my 960-hour stint as a line cook while I was in culinary school, but that’s a story for another day.)
Cauliflower and broccoli are both nutritional rock stars. They’re low in calories and have similar protein content. Broccoli has a smidge more fiber and nearly twice the calcium while cauliflower boasts higher levels of potassium and folate. These cruciferous cousins also share a family resemblance. Both are known for their close knit bunches of florets – broccoli’s bright green, cauliflower’s beige. Cauliflower’s florets are denser so they take a little longer to cook. It’s sturdy structure makes it perfect for grating into ‘rice,’ or blending it up with a little stock to make a creamy puree.
You can cook cauliflower and broccoli in many of the same ways. They’re both delicious roasted, steamed, and sautéed. (Cauliflower will take longer to sauté.)
Sauce Almondine is another similarity cauliflower and broccoli share. This simple sauce of butter, lemon juice, almonds, and parsley can transform everything from vegetables to fish into something spectacular. This recipe offers a simplified version without the butter that pairs perfectly with cauliflower steaks that are first pan-seared then roasted. Lemon juice, sliced almonds, parsley and garlic are mixed together in a bowl then added to the pan once the steaks are removed from the oven. The pan’s just hot enough to soften the garlic and allow the cauliflower to absorb the flavors of my almost Almondine Sauce. I promise you won’t miss the butter!
Cut cauliflower into steaks that are at least an inch thick. Thinner slices won’t withstand the heat of a sear and a roast.
Use a flat spatula to flip the cauliflower steaks. Tongs may cause the steaks to break.
Large Sauté Pan or Skillet
Searing the cauliflower
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch thick steaks
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoon sliced or slivered almonds
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Heat olive oil in a large, oven-safe saute pan or skillet over medium high heat.
- Season cauliflower steaks generously with salt and pepper and add to hot pan. Sear cauliflower until golden brown, 3-5 minutes per side. Once cauliflower is brown on both sides, place pan in oven. Cook until cauliflower is fork tender, 8-10 minutes.
- While cauliflower roasts, stir garlic, parsley, almonds and lemon juice together in a small bowl.
- Remove pan from oven and return to stovetop on medium heat. Add garlic mixture, stirring until garlic begins to soften and almonds begin to brown slightly, 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and serve.