Cauliflower is so versatile, and I love how this recipe uses the cauliflower from floret to core. The cauliflower “steaks” are cut from the middle section, where the core holds the slabs together. The remaining florets are used to make a creamy puree. It’s a warm, hearty dish that gets a pop from the bright preserved lemon salsa verde on top.
Lemon Salsa Verde
Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Remove the coarse outer leaves of the cauliflower, then slice 4 (1-inch-thick) “steaks” from the middle of the cauliflower, keeping the core intact. This helps hold the steaks together. Place the steaks on the baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and rub liberally on both sides with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, or until the core is fork-tender.
Break the remainder of the cauliflower into florets (about 2 cups) and bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets and the garlic cloves and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until fork-tender. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the florets and garlic to a high-speed blender. Let cool slightly, and then add the olive oil, miso paste, lemon juice, and water. Puree the mixture, using the blender baton to help keep the blade moving or pausing to stir as necessary. If needed, add 1 to 2 tablespoons more water to create a smooth puree. Season to taste.
In a medium bowl, combine the preserved lemons, parsley, capers, pine nuts, red pepper flakes, and pinches of salt and pepper. Stir in the olive oil.
Assemble each plate with a scoop of the cauliflower puree and a cauliflower steak. Top with the lemon salsa verde and garnish with the lemon zest, if desired. Season to taste with more salt and pepper and serve.
Finely dice the lemons, including the peel. Remove the seeds as you dice. Place the lemons, sugar, and salt in a lidded jar. Cover and shake. Chill for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight. The lemons will last for about 1 week.