Monday Night’s Watch: Cauliflower Weirwood Trees

Welcome to a new feature for this and the next 6 weeks: Game of Thrones watch party recipes in the Monday Night’s Watch (I live in Asia so the earliest I can watch new episodes is Monday night after work).

Monday night gathers, and now my watch begins.  It shall not end until my Game of Thrones-themed food is complete.  I shall take no drink, kiss no husband, feed no cats.  I shall wear no apron and win no glory.  I shall live and die at my post (then go to a friend’s house and watch Game of Thrones).  I am the spatula in the darkness.  I am the watcher by the oven.  I am the shield that guards the realms of hungry friends.  I pledge my life and honor to the Monday Night’s Watch, for this night and all the nights to come (until the finale).―The Monday Night’s Watch oath

Friends and I have watch parties planned for the entire season, and each week I plan to make something thematically appropriate.  This week I was cooking for a vegetarian crowd, and also warming up, so I gratefully appropriated GeekDad’s recipe for Weirwood tree cauliflower steaks.  I’ve got some half-baked ideas up my sleeve for subsequent weeks, though, so stay tuned.  The difficulty is that on Monday nights I have only an hour between coming home from work and heading to our watch party, which calls for Sunday prep for a Monday bake.  Bright ideas are welcome in the comments!

Cauliflower 4

Yield:  10-12 Weirwood trees

Prep time:  20 minutes (includes artsy face-carving time)

Cook time:  30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Three small heads of cauliflower (yields two to four steaks per head)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with aluminum foil.
  • Trim the leaves and stems from the cauliflower heads until their bottoms are neat. Then, cut the heads into 1/2-inch cross sections, straight through the top.  You’ll end up with a few steaks from each head and a lot of florets (save the latter to make something else with on another day).

Cauliflower 1

  • Using a paring knife, carve faces into the trunks of your trees.  I did a quick google search for “weirwood tree faces” to draw some inspiration.

Cauliflower 2

  • Coat the trees on both sides with the oil using olive oil spray, a pastry brush, or your hand, sprinkle with salt, and place them on a baking sheet.
  • Cook for 25 to 30 minutes at 375 degrees, or until the edges start browning.  (If you have one, you can make the faces stand out more by using a little kitchen blowtorch around the edges to darken them.  I don’t have one, so I left the faces as is.  If you want to go super dramatic, you could use food coloring or edible ink to make the eyes cry red tears.)
  • For the final touch, sprinkle the branches with paprika and red pepper flakes to get the red leaf effect.  And voila, winter has come!

Cauliflower 5

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