Anyone who can turn on an oven knows the difference between broccoli and cauliflower, right? One is green and shaped like a tree and the other is white and looks more like a brain.
Well, it turns out it’s trickier than that. In fact, these two members of the brassica family are a lot more closely related than might be apparent.
Actually, there are many members of the family that fall in between. There are even white broccolis. Perhaps the most recognizable example is the gorgeous romanesco broccoli, which looks like an experiment in fractal geometry that can fit on your dinner plate.
Another thing broccoli and cauliflower share is how well they respond to being cooked until they are fairly soft. I’m not talking about cooking these the way your grandma might have done. You don’t need to boil them into stinking sulfurous submission to get this effect.
Try adding just another minute or two to the cooking time and you’ll be surprised by the difference.
Here’s how to cook those suddenly trendy cauliflower steaks.
Saute them long enough to get the caramelization started, then finish them in the oven until they are golden brown and can be pierced easily with a fork. Be careful handling them — they’re fragile.