Any dish bearing “picatta” in its name foretells that it will be prepared with a sprightly lemon-caper sauce. While a traditional Italian picatta dish features meat, vegan versions are usually made with thin slices of seitan or extra-firm tofu, sauteed until lightly crisped, then napped with the refreshingly piquant sauce. But why stop with seitan and tofu? Consider cauliflower. Cauliflower steaks have proved to be the perfect foil for the tart flavor of a picatta sauce. Instead of sautéing the cauliflower as I would if using seitan or tofu, roast the cauliflower slices to their tender golden perfection.
Cauliflower Picatta [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
- 1 head cauliflower, cored
- Olive oil, for cooking
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 shallots, finely minced
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1-2 tablespoons capers
- 4 paper-thin slices lemon
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons chilled vegan butter (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the cauliflower on a cutting board, cored side down and cut it into 1/2-inch slices, as if you were cutting a loaf of bread.
- Arrange the cauliflower slices on a lightly oiled baking pan (you may need more than one) and season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with a little olive oil and roast until tender and nicely browned, about 30 minutes, turning once with a large metal spatula about halfway through. While the cauliflower is roasting, make the sauce.
- Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and sauté for 3 minutes, then stir in the mushrooms, if using, and cook 2 minutes longer. Add the wine, lemon juice, and capers and cook, stirring, until the liquid reduces slightly. Just before serving, add the parsley and lemon slices, then stir in the vegan butter, if using, stirring to melt it into the sauce.
- To serve, arrange the cauliflower on plates and spoon the hot sauce on top. Serve hot.