This is my version of a vegetarian steak night. I love taking large cuts of vegetables and cooking them with meat-type preparations and big robust flavors. The Romesco freezes well and makes a meal out of any vegetable or meat in a flash.
For the Romesco Sauce
4 large plum tomatoes,
5 garlic cloves
1/2 cup Marcona almonds2 jarred roasted red bell peppers , drained and roughly chopped2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika or pimentón Salt3 scallions, ends trimmed
For the Cauliflower Steak1 (1-inch thick) slice cauliflower
For the Romesco Sauce Adjust an oven rack to middle position and preheat the oven to 400°F degrees.
Arrange the tomatoes in an ovenproof pan (I like to use a pie tin) and rub them with oil. Place the garlic on a piece of foil, drizzle them with oil, wrap them with the foil, and set them in the pan with the tomatoes. Roast the tomatoes for about 45 minutes or until the tomato is nicely charred.
Transfer the pan to a cooling rack, and when cool enough to handle, carefully peel and discard the skins from the tomatoes. Unwrap the garlic and pop the out of their skins.
Place the tomatoes, garlic, almonds, peppers, vinegar, paprika , and a good pinch of salt in a blender and puree until almost smooth scraping down the sides as necessary (I like mine a little chunkier).
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium cast iron skillet over medium-high until shimmering. Add the cauliflower and season with salt. .. Place another pan on top to help keep the cauliflower pressed down in the pan. Cook about 3 minutes per side, until slightly charred at the eges. Pop the pan into the oven and cook about 8 more minutes or until tender, flipping the steak halfway through.
Remove the steaks from the pan and set aside. Coat the scallion in just enough olive oil to coat. Carefully set the iron skillet on the range over medium high heat and char the scallions for about 3 minutes per side.
To serve, place a good amount of Romesco sauce on a plate. Top with the scallions, then set the steak on top.
Canned plum tomatoes works in a pinch but skip the roasting step if using them.
To prep a cauliflower “steak” simply trim off and discard the base leaves, then, carefully cut the cauliflower into 1 inch-thick slices. Depending on the size, you can get 2 to 3 steaks from the center of the cauliflower.