A Surprising Start: Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Braised Chard, Beans, and Kalamata Olives

2 Jun

I often eat what some might call non-traditional breakfasts. The fact is, I usually work 11-7 or 1-9 shifts at the pharmacy, so mornings are when I have the most time to cook. So I like to experiment with different foods, and as long as it is healthy, filling, and delicious, who really cares if it’s not “breakfast food”? Since I’ve been encouraged to eat more vegetables in the morning, I’ve been browsing the farmers market a lot for what’s fresh and in-season to maximize the flavor in what I’m cooking.

This week I found some beautiful rainbow chard, sweet onions, and cauliflower. I think the best way to get the most out of cauliflower is to roast it, so I decided on some roasted cauliflower steaks and braised greens for a relaxed weekend breakfast. Not only did it make for an excellent start to the day, the leftovers were even more delicious later on.

Roasted Cauliflower with Tomato-Braised Chard, Beans, and Kalamata Olives

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • One 15 oz. can of cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 bunches (about 20-24 oz.) rainbow chard, stems diced and leaves chopped into 2 in. pieces
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar, divided
  • ¼ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • ¼ cup low-sodium or no salt added chicken broth
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place one rack in the upper third oven the oven and one in the lower third.

Slice the core of the cauliflower so the head will sit flat. Then cut two 1 in. slices from the center and reserve the remaining florets for another recipe.

Lay the cauliflower on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the cauliflower steaks with olive oil and season each with a clove of minced garlic, salt, and pepper on both sides.

Roast on the upper rack for 15 minutes and then turn and roast on the bottom rack for 5 minutes more.

While the cauliflower is roasting, heat about a tbsp. of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Saute the onion for 2-3 minutes or until slightly softened.

Add the rainbow chard stems and cook2-3 minutes or until crisp-tender.

Add the broth, tomatoes, beans, Kalamata olives, chard leaves, oregano, and 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar to the pan and saute for 4-5 minutes or until the chard is wilted. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

To serve, place a generous portion of the braised vegetables in a bowl or on a plate. Place a cauliflower steak on top and drizzle with the remaining balsamic vinegar.

The roasted cauliflower retains a slightly firm texture and has wonderful caramelization from its quick roast. The greens are well balanced with sweet tomatoes, briny olives, and a little pop of acid from the balsamic vinegar. It’s a dish that wakes up the palette with a variety of textures and flavors. It’s also packed with everything you need to start your day with a filling, energizing, but not heavy meal.

Of course this is a great lunch or light dinner too, but don’t be afraid to step out of your breakfast comfort zone. Make your morning meal a little exciting—something to look forward to! Ask yourself what you’re really hungry for and you’ll find a new world of inspiration waiting.

Ciao for now,

Neen

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