Cauliflower steaks on garlic mashed potatoes
harissa, dill, pine nuts, vegan creamer
by priti malhotra
Priti learned to cook under the tutelage of her mother, an excellent cook, who was ahead of her times, experimenting with recipes and ingredients that were not staple in Indian kitchens at that time. For example, she made taco shells from scratch, when very few around knew what a “taco” was. Priti, through osmosis, absorbed her passion for creativity and stellar food presentation.
Now, Priti creates easy to follow, non-fussy, vegetarian and plant based recipes, melding the traditional with the new. She is always on a look out to try new ingredients, oils, spices, and to create something different, adapt and merge together food from different cultures. When she entertains friends, she likes to display, on her kitchen island, attractive bite-sized foods that go well with wine. Priti also enjoys exploring off-the-grid bars, wineries, coffee shops and restaurants and soak in everything that her beautiful town and state has to offer.
Spicy cauliflower steaks on a bed of creamy herb flavored mashed potatoes.
3 Yukon gold potatoes
1 tablespoon vegan butter
1 clove garlic grated
A few sprigs chopped dill
1/3 cup pine nuts toasted
1 small head cauliflower (cut breadthwise into 3-4 steaks)
2 teaspoons harissa dry seasoning (available at Whole Foods)
1 teaspoon harissa paste (available at food stores and most grocery stores)
1 teaspoon salt
In a small mixing bowl, combine the harissa seasoning, harissa paste, a tablespoon of olive oil, and a teaspoon of salt. Cut a small head of cauliflower breadth-wise from the center. You should be able to get 3-4 full steaks. Using a brush, apply the harissa mix on the steaks. Carefully apply on both sides, and let them rest on a baking tray covered with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the tray with the cauliflower steaks in the middle rack of the pre-heated oven. Bake for about 20 minutes. Move it to lower rack and broil for a minute or two. Remove from the oven. They should be tender but should still be able to hold their form.
Fill a pot with salted water and add the potatoes. Bring to a boil. Boil until the potatoes are completely tender. Reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water and then drain the potatoes. Once cool enough to handle, remove the peels. Add the cooked potatoes to a mixing bowl and mash them until they are smooth using an extruding masher. This should take about 2 minutes. Stir in about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the reserved potato cooking water (a little bit at a time) until the desired texture is reached.
In the same warm pot, add the vegan butter and garlic. Cook for a minute. Add the mashed potatoes and the oat creamer to the pot. Mix well, and add salt to taste. To keep the consistency fluffy, add the remaining reserved water to the potatoes. Mix well on a slow flame. Take the pot off the heat and sprinkle in the chopped dill.
Place a dollop of the creamy potatoes on a plate, and with the back of a large spoon, flatten it into a puffy crescent shape. Gently place the cauliflower steak on top and garnish with pine nuts, chopped dill, and sliced jalapeños (optional).