This unusual take on a popular Italian dish is one of my favorite comfort food dishes. It has all of the flavors of the original without all of the fat and dairy. This dish takes a little more effort than most in this cookbook, so save it for guests or for when you want to treat yourself to something special. Steam the leftover cauliflower and use it in a bowl, or on a salad.
Cauliflower Parmesan [Vegan]
For the Cauliflower:
- 2 heads cauliflower
- 1/2 cup water sea salt and black pepper to taste
- 12 ounces whole grain linguine
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 6-8 tablespoons vegan Parmesan (recipe below)
- 1 1/2 cups pasta sauce
For the Vegan Parmesan:
- 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup toasted cashews
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground caraway seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
To Make the Parmesan:
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until the mixture has the texture of grated Parmesan cheese. Do not over-process or you will have Parmesan butter.
To Make the Cauliflower:
- Turn the oven on to broil and heat to 425°F.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Cut the cauliflower heads in half through the stem, then trim each half so you have a cutlet 1-1 1/2 inches thick.
- Place the cauliflower cutlets in a large skillet and add the 1/2 cup water to the pan. Cook the cutlets for 5 minutes over medium heat, until almost tender. Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste and place the cutlets on a nonstick baking sheet or one lined with parchment paper.
- Cook the pasta in the boiling water according to package instructions.
- Add the garlic, basil, and oregano to a blender and puree for 30 seconds. Drizzle the garlic mixture evenly over the cooked cauliflower cutlets and sprinkle vegan Parmesan on top.
- Bake the cutlets for 8–10 minutes, until the cutlets are lightly browned.
- To serve, divide the cooked linguine among four plates and top with the pasta sauce. Place a cauliflower cutlet on top of the pasta sauce for each plate.