Duos have been big and everyone does them with proteins. Duo of short rib with strip loin; duo of pork belly and shoulder. But I do feel that with meat, once is usually enough. Vegetable duos are more interesting. Earlier this fall I paired a celeriac purée with a raw celery salad (leaves and thinly shaved stalk), and a little celery salt. I’ll post that recipe shortly. Recently, I produced a soup pairing raw carrot juice with a purée of cooked carrot (enriched with leek and butter), which not only lightened the soup but enhanced its carrot flavor. In the spring, I like to make a fresh pea soup and finish it with pea sprouts.
This time, I decided to pair a cauliflower purée with roasted cauliflower. Both elements showcase different qualities of the cauliflower. This is a very simple dish and can be prepared in 20 minutes, start to finish.
2 leeks, julienned and confit in olive oil
6 cloves garlic confit
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs thyme
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 c unsalted butter
salt and white pepper
1/4 c crème fraîche
1 hanger steak, trimmed
coriander, coarsely ground
salt and pepper
espelette (or black pepper with a tiny pinch of cayenne)
Season beef with salt and coriander, optimally several hours before service.
Slice the reserved florets thinly (1/8″) and place on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and place in oven. Roast 20 minutes or until golden. Remove and season with sea salt and espelette.
Meanwhile, prepare purée. Bring stock to a simmer. Add cauliflower, leeks, garlic, and herbs, and cover pan. When cauliflower is tender, remove bay and thyme. Purée in blender with crème fraîche until smooth. Prepare a brown butter; add to purée while blender is running. Process through tamis, season with salt and pepper, and hold.
Set a pan over medium high heat. Add a knob of butter and cook beef, basting with butter, to medium rare. Season again with salt, pepper. Remove from heat and rest. Slice when rested.
Spoon purée in center of plate. Set several slices of hanger steak atop purée (overlapping). Place a slice of roasted cauliflower on each slice of steak.