Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Pan-Fried Cauliflower & Pasta with Roasted Garlic-Tomato Sauce

Cauliflower now holds a special spot in my cookin'-lovin' heart. I'll admit I've definitely tried avoiding it in my adult years. My memories of cauliflower are made up of bland, soft steamed chunks paired with steamed carrots or peas. 

A kid's worst nightmare. 

That and chicken pot pie. Gross.

I know breaded & pan-fried cauliflower is a no-brainer when trying to make it more appealing to the veggie-haters, but I think this is a simple and easy vegan alternative to chicken parm & a good start to introducing cauliflower back in your life. Next thing ya know, you won't be so timid to try it out without the breading and just pan-frying those pretty florets with a little oil and spice. Baby steps, people. Baby steps. 

Vegan Pan-Fried Cauliflower

1/2 of a medium cauliflower
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp flour
*seasoned breadcrumbs
canola oil

Mix water and flour in a small shallow bowl and set aside. Place breadcrumbs and spices (if using) in another shallow bowl and sit next to flour mixture.
Slice a medium sized cauliflower down the middle. You're only using one half. Slice the cauliflower into 1/4" thick slices & remove florets from the large stem. Lay out cauliflower flat on a baking sheet and dip each in the flour mixture then in breadcrumbs making sure each piece gets a good coat. Lay them back on the baking sheet. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat and use just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Depending on the size of your pan (don't overcrowd!), fry cauliflower in batches for about 2 minutes on each side.

*I had garlic & herb seasoned breadcrumbs that I needed to use up. If you have plain, just add some spices like garlic powder, salt & pepper.

Vegan Roasted Garlic-Tomato Sauce

8-9 garlic cloves, peeled
olive oil
salt & pepper

3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 white onion
1/2 tsp parsley
1/4 tsp oregano
1 tsp red pepper
4-5 basil leaves, chopped
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
sea salt

Heat oven to 375. Place garlic on a piece of foil and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt & pepper. Wrap the foil making sure there are no openings and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 30-40 minutes. *You can let this roast while you prepare the cauliflower or while your preparing the sauce* Remove from oven and smash cloves into a garlic paste. Email me and tell me how awesome your house smells. Garlic is my fav!

Heat olive oil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook stirring occasionally until tender, about 5 minutes. Add parsley, oregano, red pepper and give a quick stir. Add tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook stirring occasionally until the sauce slightly thickens, about 20 minutes. Stir in garlic paste and cook for another 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in basil, reserving some to top finished meal. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4.

To prepare finished meal, mix prepared pasta with sauce and cauliflower. Serve hot with basil on top.


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