Whitesburg KY

Dig in to breaded cauliflower cutlets



Let’s say that one of your New Year’s resolutions is to eat healthier and lose some weight. Join the crowd, right?

In practice, what we probably mean — among other things — is that we plan to eat more vegetables and less meat. It’s a challenge. But if you try this dish — a wonderful vegetarian version of breaded veal (or pork or chicken) cutlets swimming in a marina sauce — you will see how easy and satisfying it can be to turn a resolution into reality.

You start by slicing a whole head of cauliflower into cutlets. The idea is to end up with thick slabs of the vegetable. One easy method for doing this is to cut the head in half down the center, then turn each half on its cut side and cut the halves into 1/2-inchthick slabs. There will always be a few loose bits from the ends, but those also can be breaded and cooked as described below.

You’ll want to take care with the breading, too. It’s a three-step process: dust the steaks lightly with cornstarch, coat them well with an egg mixture, then finish them with a layer of breadcrumbs. This is standard operating procedure among culinary pros. The three layers provide a more substantial crust than any other single coating or combo of coatings.

This photo show Breaded Cauliflower Cutlets with Marinara. (AP Photo)

This photo show Breaded Cauliflower Cutlets with Marinara. (AP Photo)

Now it’s time to brown your vegetable cutlets. You could do it in a skillet — just as you would a breaded meat cutlet — but that would require a ton of oil (those breadcrumbs just soak it up). And remember, it’s the New Year and you’re on a new path. So we bake them instead, which requires a lot less oil. The key is to place the cutlets fairly close to the heat source. In my electric oven that’s the top of the stove. If they’re not properly browned at the end of the prescribed cooking time, just leave them in the oven a little longer.

Then dig in. The biggest flavor is going to come from the marinara sauce. Your brain likely won’t care at all whether the cutlet is veal or vegetable. But your body will thank you.

Start to finish: 1 hour 15 minutes (45
minutes active)
Servings: 4
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
I large head cauliflower
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1/2 cup cornstarch
1 3/4 cups panko breadcrumbs 1 ounce grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cups speedy marinara (recipe below) or storebought marinara, heated

Heat the oven to 400 F.
In a small bowl, combine
the oil and the garlic. Set
Pull off any leaves from
the stem end of the cauliflower and trim off just
enough of the stem so the
cauliflower stands flat on
the counter. Slice the cauliflower head in half down the
center top to bottom. One at
a time, set each half onto its
cut side. Starting from one
end of each half, slice crosswise to create 1/2-inchthick slices. This will yield 3
to 4 cutlets from the center
of each half, with the small
ends being chunks. The
chunks can be prepared as
the cutlets, or reserved for
another use.
In a shallow bowl or pie
plate, whisk together the
eggs, yogurt, 3 tablespoons
of water and 1/2 teaspoon
of the salt.
On a sheet of kitchen
parchment, combine the
cornstarch with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt,
stirring the mixture with a
fork to combine. On a second sheet of parchment,
combine the panko with the
cheese, stirring with a fork.
One at a time, coat the
cauliflower cutlets (and

trimmings, if using) on both
sides with the cornstarch,
knocking off the excess.
Next, dip each in the egg
mixture, coating them on
both sides and letting the
excess drip off. Finally, coat
them with the panko mixture, patting the crumbs on
well. Set aside.
Strain the garlic oil
through a mesh strainer,
pressing hard on the garlic
to get out all the oil. Discard
the garlic (or reserve for
another use).
On a rimmed baking
sheet, spread half of the oil
in an even coating. Set the
baking sheet on the oven’s
top shelf and heat for 5
minutes. Carefully remove
the pan from the oven and
quickly arrange the prepared cauliflower on it in a
single layer. Return the pan
to the oven and bake for 15
Remove the pan from the
oven, drizzle the tops of the
cauliflower evenly with the
remaining oil, turn them
over, then bake for another
15 minutes. Divide the cauliflower among 4 serving
plates, then serve topped
with marinara.
Nutrition information
per serving: 490 calories;
190 calories from fat (39
percent of total calories);
21 g fat (4.5 g saturated; 0 g
trans fats); 170 mg cholesterol; 1110 mg sodium; 58
g carbohydrate; 6 g fiber; 8
g sugar; 17 g protein.

Start to finish: 35 minutes

(10 minutes active)
Makes about 2 1/2 cups
2 large cloves garlic,
1 tablespoon extra-virgin
olive oil
Hefty pinch red pepper
28-ounce can plum tomatoes (preferably fireroasted), chopped
Kosher salt
In an unheated medium
saucepan, combine the garlic and the oil. Turn the heat
to medium and cook, turning over the garlic several
times, until it is just golden,
4 to 6 minutes. Add the red
pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the
tomatoes and a hefty pinch
of salt, then bring to a boil,
reduce the heat, and cook
at a brisk simmer until the
sauce is reduced to about 2
1/2 cups, 20 to 25 minutes.
Discard the garlic. Season
with salt.
Nutrition information
per 1/2 cup: 60 calories; 25
calories from fat (42 percent of total calories); 2.5 g
fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans
fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 460
mg sodium; 8 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 4 g sugar; 1
g protein.

Sara Moulton is host of
public television’s “Sara’s
Weeknight Meals.” She was
executive chef at Gourmet
magazine for nearly 25 years
and spent a decade hosting several Food Network
shows, including “Cooking
Live.” Her latest cookbook is
“Home Cooking 101.”

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