Cauliflower steaks, all smoked-up

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Since we became those people – the kind who own two types of barbecues – earlier this summer, we’ve been experimenting a lot with charcoal versus gas. Overall I’d say we’ve found most barbecued foods turn out better using the charcoal, big egg-style grill because you just can’t beat that smoky flavour. That was definitely the case during our second run at cauliflower steaks a few days ago.

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Geir’s plate

Last summer, we grilled cauliflower steaks for the very first time, and loved them. I figured they’d be hard to beat. This time, I marinated them for about an hour (simple stuff like oil, balsamic, white wine vinegar, garlic, herbs, lemon), and we heated up an Emile Henry stone inside the charcoal grill. As you can see in the photo, the steaks got a lot more colour, and around the edges, the florets became crispy and heavenly. The cauliflower soaked up the smoke more than we had anticipated – and it worked perfectly.

Accompanying the steaks was a spicy corn and tomato salad with chunks of goat paneer, as well as some freshly-made garlic scape pesto. Also, a dollop of goat’s milk Greek yogurt, just for fun. All the goat products were from our favourite goat farm, Ran-Cher Acres.

I still can’t get over the incredible texture of cauliflower steak. It takes a while to cook them through – about 20-25 minutes – but the consistency and flavour is worth it. And if you’re wondering – yes – they are extremely filling!

fresh off the grill (left) my plate (right)

fresh off the grill (left)
my plate (right)

Odds and Ends: Spicy Chile-Lime Red Cabbage & Butternut Squash Salad

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Today I lucked out. Poking around the fridge, I noticed we only had odds and ends, none of which seemed to make any sense to me, flavour wise, to put together. After about five minutes of Googling, I found inspiration from a few different sources, and was feeling confident.

What I came up with is possibly the longest salad description out there, but here goes: spicy chile-lime red cabbage and roasted butternut squash salad with garlic scapes, cilantro, basil, and double goat’s cheese. Served warm. So good.

What I did was roast the butternut squash in small chunks (tossed in olive oil), seasoned with salt, pepper and a little chili powder. That took about 20 minutes. Using the leftover oil from roasting the squash, I then sauteed the sliced red cabbage quickly with hot red chiles and garlic scapes.

Next, I threw them together in a bowl and let them cool off a bit. Then I tossed the ingredients in freshly squeezed lime juice, salt and pepper, fresh cilantro, basil and chives – plus chunks of firm Ran-Cher Acres goat gouda. To top it off, I crumbled Ran-Cher Acres regular goat cheese. SO delicious. Glad I went out of my way to make those odds and ends work.

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Spicy chiles, creamy squash and goat’s cheese plus crunchy cabbage made this salad balanced and tasty!