The very first thing I would like to say about this outstanding vegan cauliflower stew is don't get overwhelmed by all the steps.
Make sure you practice mise en place – meaning have all your ingredients measured, cut, peeled, sliced and grated before you start cooking. This technique will help you stay organized and assembly will be quite effortless.
Now, let's start with the flavor bomb that goes on top of this vegan cauliflower stew; pickled cauliflower.
Most people don't realize how easy pickling is. It was simply done by grating some of the cauliflower and marinating it in lemon juice and salt. It adds bright spikes of flavor that contrasts beautifully with the other ingredients.
Another technique used in this recipe is charring the cauliflower before adding it to the vegan cauliflower stew to add a smoky depth of flavor.
I know this may sound like a lot of work, but I honestly couldn't stop eating it.
Hope you enjoy this vegan cauliflower stew with potatoes, parsnips, and greens topped with pickled cauliflower as much as we did.
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Vegan Cauliflower Stew with Potatoes, Parsnips and Greens Topped With Pickled Cauliflower
This recipe was adapted from Amanda Cohen's recipe in the New York Times.
- 2 heads cauliflower
- 1 teaspoon olive oil (if you are oil free - omit - it will still brown)
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup vegetable broth plus 8 cups for stew
- 1 cup diced onion
- 4 minced garlic cloves
- 1½ tablespoons ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon ground mustard
- Pinch of cayenne
- ½ cup peeled, diced parsnip
- ½ cup diced celery (about 2 stalks)
- 2 cups peeled, diced Yukon Gold potatoes
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 1 cup watercress (or other peppery green like arugula)
- 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
- Heat the broiler to high. Take one of the heads of cauliflower and pull off the leaves, and slice into big slab. Lightly brush with a little olive oil and broil until they turn dark brown, about 1o minutes be careful not to burn them. Let the slices cook, then roughly chop them.
- Take the other head of cauliflower and grate ½ cup of cauliflower florets into a small bowl. Then Break off a big chunk (about a quarter of the head) and set it aside, thenroughly chop the rest.
- Prepare the pickled cauliflower: Mix the ½ cup of grated cauliflower with lemon juice and ¼ teaspoon salt and let sit for approximately an hour.
- In a large pot, heat a ½ cup of vegetable broth. Add onions, garlic, coriander, mustard and cayenne. Cook, stirring until the onions are almost translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Stir in the parsnips and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the parsnips soften, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the raw chopped cauliflower, broiled cauliflower and potatoes. Save a few pieces of broiled cauliflower for garnish. Pour in the 8 cups of vegetable stock and let cook until the potatoes are tender, approximately 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and transfer the large chunk of cauliflower and approximately 2 cups of the soup, making sure you get cauliflower, potatoes, parsnips and celery in there to a food processor or blender. Blend carefully. Hot soup has a tendency to explode.
- Pour the blended mixture back into your big pot of stew, and season with ½ teaspoon of salt and some fresh ground black pepper. Stir in the broiled cauliflower and bring it to a boil again.
- To serve, divide the watercress between six large bowls. Ladle the stew into the bowls and top with some chopped fresh tarragon and some pickled cauliflower. Garnish with a piece of broiled cauliflower.