(Sexy) Pan seared cauliflower with brown butter and truffle oil


by Lynne Vea, PCC Natural Markets Chef


Posted on February 12, 2011 at 5:25 PM

Updated Saturday, Feb 12 at 5:25 PM

(Serves 2-4)

So, you may be asking yourself, "What is so sexy about the lowly cauliflower?"  In this case, we've cut snowy white and vibrant orange cauliflower into lacy looking cross sections, seared them in brown butter and truffle oil until they're crisp-tender and golden, and then topped them with sautéed pine nuts, lemon and freshly grated aged cheese. So simple, and so elegant, it's truly a dish you would serve on a special occasion. That's what I call sexy!

1 head white cauliflower
1 head orange cauliflower
3 tablespoons butter (divided)
1/2 teaspoon truffle oil
1/2 cup pine nuts
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Chiffonade basil leaves for garnish
Freshly grated Parmigiana, Romano, Manchego or your favorite semi-firm cheese for garnish

Trim the leaves and long stem from the bottom of the cauliflower. Leave the core intact. Cut 2 slices, lengthwise, from the very center of the cauliflower, about 1/2 inch thick. (Save the rest for crudités or salads) Do the same with the orange cauliflower.

Note: Alternatively, you may break the cauliflower into florets and cut each in half lengthwise to give you a flat surface for browning.

In a heavy sauté pan over medium heat, melt half of the butter, until bubbly, and add the truffle oil. Sprinkle the cauliflower slices with a little salt and place in the pan. Sear each side until deep golden, about 2 minutes to a side. Remove the cauliflower to a platter and add the rest of the butter to the pan. When it begins to brown and sizzle, stir in the pine nuts and garlic and cook for about 20 seconds, or until the pine nuts are light golden. Pour in the lemon juice and remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve the cauliflower on pretty plates, drizzled with the pine nut mixture. Garnish with chiffonade basil and grated cheese.