Dana Slatkin

Pan-Seared Cauliflower (or Fish, or Chicken) in Mustard, Caper and Herb Sauce

cauliflower steak

Photo credit: 30secondswaandj.com


I get a lot of S.O.S calls this time of year. Kids are home from school, and moms are realizing there’s a very long summer of short-order cooking ahead.

The conversation goes something like this…”Can you teach my kid to cook? Mine is clueless!”

“Sure, what would they like to learn?”


“Umm…ok, shall we start with the basics?”

“Great! Would you mind if I join, too?”

Of course, I live to show anyone a few cooking tricks. Eventually, kids need to learn how to nourish themselves, and they’re never too young or old to start. Even if they are still boarding at home, in a dorm room or in sorority (or fraternity) house, the kids who can cook are the ones who eat better and are never without friends!

This is one of the first recipes I teach beginning cooks, because it entails some fundamental techniques that can be applied to any meal. Use it for fish filets, thinly pounded chicken breasts, even slabs of tofu – all are good vehicles for this classic French sauce, a new-style beurre blanc thickened with mustard instead of beurre.

cauliflower with mustard caper sauce

Photo credit: Jessie Spartano

But for a light summer dish, I love the idea of cauliflower “steaks.” Surprisingly satisfying, they make for a lovely presentation. Just slice the whole head from top to stem, brown the steaks in a pan, and then roast them in a toaster oven until tender and juicy.

Once mastered, the art of searing and saucing (along with some simple knife skills) is the ticket to making a wholesome meal anywhere…even at college. With a little practice, your kitchen apprentice won’t even need a recipe.

We already know cooking for our kids teaches them the importance of eating well and sharing at the table. But show kids how to cook for themselves and they learn a powerful life skill…one that can travel everywhere and always point the way home.


Love cauliflower? Me, too! You might like these recipes:

Cauliflower Cheddar Beer Soup
Vegan Cauliflower Velouté á la Farmgirl
Finbarr’s Curried Vegetable Soup
Sesame Soy Roasted Cauliflower
Persian Chicken Burgers


Don’t miss this month’s Giveaway! It’s your chance to win the Farmgirl’s favorite knife and peeler set. If you need a sharp knife for your summer cooking, don’t wait! Get one here.




This post may contain a few affiliate links. They are benignly intended to help dear readers make informed consumer choices while supporting invaluable, unsponsored, free-of-charge and delicious content. The opinions expressed are solely the Farmgirl’s and are unsolicited.

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  1. gigi says:

    Ahmazing! Truly mouth watering and so easy to do. Dana – you are a genius. A light hearted, talented, lovable, genius.

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