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The Four Seasons' cauliflower steaks with black walnut quinoa and fragrant pear curry

Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Yields Serves 3 to 4
The Four Seasons’ cauliflower steaks with black walnut quinoa and fragrant pear curry
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Pear curry

1

In a saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the pear, onion and curry powder with a tablespoon of the oil. Cook, stirring the mixture occasionally, until tender and without any coloring. Stir in the sherry vinegar along with half of the apple juice.

2

Remove the pan from heat and set aside for a few minutes, then pour the mixture into a blender, preferably high-speed. Blend on high speed until smooth, then add the remaining apple juice. With the blender running, carefully drizzle in the remaining oil to create a smooth emulsion. Season with 3/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, or to taste. This makes a generous cup curry sauce.

Quinoa

1

Rinse the quinoa well under cold running water, then strain.

2

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, onion and quinoa. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent and softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat and cover. Cook until the quinoa is tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

3

Remove from heat and set aside for several minutes, covered, until the vegetable broth is absorbed. Stir in the walnuts, lemon juice, remaining tablespoon oil and parsley. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, or as desired. This makes about 2 cups quinoa. Set aside in a warm place until ready to assemble the dish.

Cauliflower steaks and assembly

1

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Carefully lower the cauliflower steaks into the water one by one. Bring to a simmer, and cook until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes, careful not to overcook. (If a paring knife can pierce through the center fairly easily against the side of the pot, it should be done.) Carefully remove using a skimmer and transfer to a rack to cool. Reserve the pot of water for next step. When the steaks are cooled, pat them dry and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Set aside in a warm place until ready to plate.

2

Bring the pot of water back to a boil. Blanch the broccolini, radishes and carrots separately until just tender, 1 to 3 minutes depending on the size. Transfer to a rack to cool, then lightly drizzle with olive oil, season with a pinch each of salt and pepper, and a dash of the soy sauce. Set aside in a warm place until ready to plate as garnishes.

3

Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat, then add in a little olive oil. Carefully sear each cauliflower steak over high heat until browned evenly, about 2 minutes per side.

4

Likewise, grill the mushrooms over high heat just until tender, then remove and toss with the other vegetable garnishes.

5

Divide the warm quinoa among 3 to 4 plates. Top each with a cauliflower steak. Drizzle the pear curry over the plates and garnish with the remaining vegetables . Serve immediately.

Adapted from a recipe provided by the Garden restaurant at the Four Seasons in New York City.

Noelle Carter is the former Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen director. She left in January 2019.
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