Cauliflower Piccata

Piccata is an Italian method of cooking which entails coating and frying a piece of thin meat, and using the pan drippings to render a lemon and white wine based sauce. My version of Cauliflower Piccata echoes the flavors of that traditional dish, in a much lighter and healthier way. The flavors of tart lemon, salty capers, and mellow white wine mingle well with roasted cauliflower. I recommend serving this with a whole wheat pasta, risotto, or mashed potatoes. The best part about this recipe? The Cauliflower Piccata creates an elegant meal in less than 30 minutes.

Cauliflower Piccata
Serves 2 – 4

recipe adapted from Seitan Piccata Candle 79 Cookbook by Joy Pierson, Angel Ramos, and Jorge Pineda

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as olive oil, grapeseed oil
  • 1/3 cup sliced leeks, white parts only
  • 1/4 cup shallots, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1/2 vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons arrowroot
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed parsley leaves, minced

Heat oven to 375ºF

1. Remove outer green leaves, and bottom portion of stem from cauliflower head. Slice the head vertically down through the center. Cut two 1 inch thick slabs from each half {Tip: Depending on the size of the head, you may only be able to get one slab from each half; There will also be remaining florets, which you can choose to roast along with slabs or cook separately.}

2. On a sheet tray lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil, place cauliflower slabs, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast cauliflower for 15 – 20 minutes until edges begin to brown.

3. Meanwhile, as cauliflower roasts, sauté leeks, shallots, and garlic, with salt and pepper in oil, for 2 – 3 minutes. Deglaze the pan with white wine, and continue to cook until most of the wine has evaporated.

4. Stir arrowroot into vegetable broth, to dissolve, and add to pan along with capers and lemon juice. Continue to cook several minutes more until sauce thickens. Season with parsley.

To serve, place some sauce on the plate, and lay a roasted cauliflower slab over sauce. Spoon more sauce over the top of the cauliflower and garnish with lemon slices and more minced parsley.

By Stephanie Hoban, MS, RD, LD 

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