Searing cauliflower steaks in a fry pan and then transferring them to the oven to continue roasting gives you the best of both worlds: a lightly browned, caramelized exterior and a moist, tender interior.
Pan-Roasted Cauliflower with Gremolata
1 head cauliflower
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
9 Tbs. (3 fl. oz./90 ml) olive oil, plus more as needed
2 garlic cloves
1 shallot, chopped
1/2 cup (1/2 oz./15 g) fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
3 Tbs. white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. Dijon
1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g) grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g) panko
Preheat an oven to 400°F (200°C).
Trim the very bottom of the cauliflower stem, leaving most of the stem attached to the head. Place the cauliflower, stem side down, on a cutting board and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) slices. Season the slices with salt and pepper.
In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. In batches as necessary, add the cauliflower to the pan in a single layer and cook, turning once, until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes total. Return all the cauliflower to the pan and transfer to the oven. Roast for 15 minutes, turning the cauliflower once halfway through the cooking time.
While the cauliflower is roasting, in a blender, combine the garlic, shallot, parsley, balsamic vinegar, honey and Dijon. Pulse until combined. Add 4 Tbs. (2 fl. oz./60 ml) of the olive oil and blend until the mixture forms a thick sauce, scraping down the sides of the blender as necessary and adding more olive oil if necessary to achieve the right consistency. Set aside.
In a small bowl, stir together Parmesan, panko and the remaining 3 Tbs. olive oil.
Remove the cauliflower from the oven and spoon the parsley mixture on top. Sprinkle with the panko mixture and return to oven until cauliflower is tender and the panko are lightly browned, about 5 minutes more. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen