Special occasions always bring steak — ideally an aged ribeye — to Mr. Alpenglow’s mind. With a side of buttery mashed potatoes, roasted garlic, and a robust California Zinfandel, one finds an extraordinarily “happy place.” Of course, for most waists and wallets, this steak-as-happiness ritual can only be observed infrequently. Here is an insanely overachieving dish to prepare on all those other nights when you need your dinner to love you back.
1 head of cauliflower
1 tin of flat anchovies
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 cup of whole milk
1/2 tsp. of kosher salt
1/4 tsp. of ground white pepper
Preheat the oven to 350. Slice the cauliflower in half, then (working from the inner part of the cauliflower) slice two 1-inch thick “steaks.” Set these aside. Crumble the rest of the cauliflower florets into a large pot with the milk and garlic. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until the cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer this mixture to a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. Season with the kosher salt and white pepper. Set the puree aside and keep warm. Set a non-stick skillet on medium-high flame and add the anchovies (you use as little as 4 filets or the whole tin depending on your enthusiasm) along with the oil. Use a wooden spoon to dissolve the anchovies. Place one of the steaks into the skillet and pan-fry for about 3-4 minutes each side. Repeat with the other steak. Transfer the steaks into the oven in the skillet or on a greased pan to finish cooking until just tender, not more than 10 minutes. The steaks should have a nice golden brown crust. To serve, ladle some of the salsa verde onto a platter, then ladle some of the cauliflower puree over it. Place a cauliflower steak in the center and serve with the fennel, radish, and apple salad.
for the salsa verde:
3/4 cup of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
juice from 1/2 a lemon
3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. drained capers
2 anchovy filets
1/2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
4 garlic cloves
Pulse all the ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth.
for the salad:
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
5-6 radishes, thinly sliced
1 granny smith apple, cored and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper. Toss with the fennel, radishes, and apple in a bowl.