Sometimes the well-traveled just need to lay down roots. Such is the case for Jason Neroni, a highly talented and ambitious chef we've gotten to know over the past five years. After running the kitchen during 71 Clinton’s Fresh Foods' final lap in New York (2004-06) and opening a before-its-time Italian restaurant in South Brooklyn, he settled at 10 Downing, where he received very good reviews and was awarded a Star Chefs Rising Star, a designation that is often followed by James Beard honors. The line on Neroni was always similar: Crazy skills. Knows his pastas. Book now, while he’s around. But thankfully for the city of Los Angeles, Neroni has stuck around at Superba Snack Bar, the popular Venice restaurant he opened with partner Paul Hibler in the summer of 2012.
The restaurant has become famous for not just pastas, but its wonderful way with vegetables. Here, Neroni brings omega-packed cauliflower to a hearty level with his veggie "T-bone" preparation. It's meltingly rich, tender and flavorful — like its namesake cut of steak, and welcomes any topping you would want to slap on a slab of meat. Serve this cauliflower steak recipe as a side or as the main event, flanked by your favorite side dish, and nobody can say you don't eat enough vegetables.
- 1 cauliflower head
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 3 tablespoons salt
- juice of 1 lemon
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Trim "steaks" out of the cauliflower by removing a good portion of the outer part where the core does not connect the inner network of cauliflower. You should be able to cut off 2-4 steaks depending on the size if the cauliflower. Reserve the scrapes for pasta filling, soups or pickles.
- Place "T-bone" in a casserole dish with the rest of the ingredients. Wrap with foil and roast for 2 hours or until fork-tender.
- Once cooked, remove from liquid. Dry the cauliflower well using paper towels.
- Heat a cast-iron pan over medium-high heat, add a splash of olive oil and sauté the cauliflower on each side until golden-brown, about 5 minutes.
- Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. (Pictured with sliced chile peppers, edible flowers and a sauce.)
Try out these cauliflower recipes on Food Republic: