Nigel Slater’s cauliflower slices with horseradish recipe | Life and style
Warm 500ml of vegetable stock in a medium saucepan. Trim 1kg of cauliflower then cut into steaks, about 2cm thick. Lower these into the boiling stock, then reduce the heat, so that the stock simmers. Partially cover the pan with a lid, then leave to cook until soft enough to pierce effortlessly with a skewer – a matter of 15 minutes or so.
While the cauliflower cooks, warm 3 tbsp of olive oil in a shallow pan, add 50g of fresh, white breadcrumbs and cook until golden, constantly stirring and tossing so they colour evenly. Roughly chop and add a small bunch (about 10g) of parsley. Fold in a good handful (about 3 tbsp) of roughly chopped pumpkin seeds and 1 tbsp of grated fresh horseradish. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
Remove half of the cauliflower and blend to a smooth cream with approximately half of the stock, seasoning as you go.
Warm a glug or two of olive oil in a shallow pan, lower in two of the reserved cauliflower steaks, carefully drained, and fry until golden. Gently turn and cook the other side until lightly crisp around the edges. Divide the cauliflower purée between two plates, slip the fried cauliflower steak on top, then season with the crumbs and seeds. For 2-3.
Keeping the slices of cauliflower on the thick side will help the slice hold together. The steaks that stand proud of the stock and cook in the steam are the ones to fry. Those that cook under the liquid are the ones to purée. They will absorb some of the flavours of your stock.
Snippets of crisp bacon, pancetta or pork crackling could be introduced to the breadcrumb and parsley crumble. A trickle of cream and some grated pecorino would be a good addition to the purée. The sauce, topped with a little grated parmesan, could be spooned over the cauliflower and grilled, to give a toasted crust.