Greenmarket Inspo: Cauliflower Steaks with Chermoula

Every week, our test kitchen team pays an early morning visit to New York City’s biggest farmers market: the Union Square Greenmarket in Manhattan. Comprised of over 70 stalls bursting with flowers, local products, and beautiful seasonal produce, it’s the perfect place for a hit of mid-week inspiration. Follow us on Instagram to tag along (bring a tote bag, it’s impossible to leave empty handed!) and see what we decide to make with our market haul.

Nearly every global cuisine has its own herb-based sauce, from salsa verde and chimichurri to pesto and zhoug. In North Africa, the green condiment of choice is chermoula, a version spiced with cumin and coriander and often blended with raisins for sweetness. Used as a marinade or topping for meat, seafood, and vegetables alike, the recipe varies region to region and can easily be adapted to include what you have on hand. Ours packs a bright and herby punch from the combination of parsley and mint, but if cilantro looks especially good at a market near you, it makes a welcome addition (as does chili paste or pepper flakes for heat, whole slices of preserved lemon, or even a pinch of saffron — up to you!). 

If you’ve never made a cauliflower steak before — we love them on Blue Apron’s vegetarian menu — consider it on your to-do list. Keeping the core intact allows you to slice the head into 1-inch-thick slabs that stay together, for the most part, which makes them suitable as a side dish or vegetarian main. More flat surface area (as opposed to the curved shape of a floret) means a cauliflower steak has more direct contact with the sheet pan while roasting; the result is a browned and caramelized exterior with crispy edges, but tender and delicate interior. Drizzled with chermoula, it’s simple, flavorful, and likely the star of your table.

Cauliflower Steaks with Chermoula

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 large cauliflower, leaves removed, cut into 1-inch thick steaks (keeping them as intact as possible)
2 cups parsley leaves and tender stems
½ cup mint leaves
2 tbsp golden raisins
2 tsp ground cumin, divided
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp hot paprika 
1 clove garlic
1 lemon, quartered and deseeded
¼ cup almonds
¼ cup castelvetrano olives
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil

Method

1. Roast the cauliflower:

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450°F. Place the cauliflower on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and 1 ½ teaspoons of cumin. Carefully turn to coat and arrange in an even layer. Roast 26 to 28 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven. 

2. Rehydrate the raisins:

While the cauliflower roasts, in a bowl, combine the raisins and the juice of 2 lemon wedges. Set aside to rehydrate, at least 10 minutes.

3. Toast the almonds:

While the raisins rehydrate, heat a dry pan over medium until hot. Add the almonds. Toast, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant. Transfer to a bowl.

4. Make the chermoula & serve your dish:
While the cauliflower continues to roast, in a blender or food processor, combine the rehydrated raisins (and any lemon juice), parsley, mint, coriander, paprika, garlic, ½ cup olive oil, and remaining ½ teaspoon cumin. Season with pepper and 1 teaspoon salt. Blend until mostly smooth (some chunks are ok). Serve the roasted cauliflower topped with the chermoula. Enjoy!