Curried cauliflower steaks

Check out that cauliflower.
It's yellow.
It's curry time!

Of all the world cuisines, Indian has never been a favorite of mine. I like many of the elements: vegetables, lentils, yogurt, naan, rice... all excellent. The highly spiced flavors are what do me in. I'm just an herbs and garlic kind of girl. Occasionally, though, I'll get in the mood for it. This brightly pigmented cauliflower is the result of my last curry craving.

Grilled vegetables are a summer staple for me. Asparagus, zucchini, onions, and mushrooms are musts. But did you ever think to grill cauliflower? Yeah, me neither. Until I found out that you can slice them into "steaks" and they will remain held together by their sturdy core.

You can usually cut two, sometimes three, steaks from each head of cauliflower. Don't throw out the remaining portions - cut them into florets and steam them, roast them, or munch on them raw and dipped in a tasty vinaigrette.
So what's that yellow all about? That would be turmeric.

Turmeric has been used for medicinal and cooking purposes for thousands of years. It is a common spice in cooking and is known for giving curries their bright yellow color. Studies have shown that turrmeric may be helpful in preventing certain cancers, healing wounds, relieving digestive ailments, and reducing inflammation. Many of these studies show quite promising results, but more research is needed before turmeric will be widely recommended for health purposes. If you enjoy curry spices, adding turmeric to your diet can add great flavor and a range of potential health benefits.
I love how the color of turmeric changes from gold-orange to bright yellow when heat is applied.
Curried cauliflower steaks
Serves 2

1 large head cauliflower
1 tablespoon unsalted tahini
1 tablespoon yogurt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  1. Trim the leaves from the cauliflower and cut the stem so it is flush with the base. Stand the cauliflower up on its cut end, and use a large chef's knife to cut two "steaks" from the middle of the cauliflower, each about 1 inch thick. 
  2. To make the curry sauce, whisk together the tahini, yogurt, lemon, and water together in a small bowl. Whisk in the garlic, salt, cumin, turmeric, coriander, and ginger. Taste and adjust the flavors as needed.
  3. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to about 375F. Alternatively, preheat a stovetop grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush with oil.
  4. Brush both sides of the cauliflower steaks with the curry sauce. Place the steaks on the grill and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until slightly charred. Flip and cook for 4-5 minutes on the opposite side. The cauliflower should be tender when pierced with a fork, but still slightly crisp. 
  5. Remove the steaks from heat. Serve with the remaining curry sauce for dipping. 

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