At Norah in West Hollywood, Mike Williams does plenty of whole animal butchery. But the chef also has food on the menu for vegans and pescatarians. Chickpea sausage, mushroom carpaccio and cauliflower tartare make appearances on his vegetable charcuterie plate. He is a fan of the cauliflower selection at the Tamai Family Farms stand.
The cauliflower tartare is served with maple mustard and a crunchy grilled levain bread.
Chef Mike Williams’ Cauliflower Tartare
Yield: Serves 2
1½ cups cauliflower, finely chopped
3 sprigs thyme
2 tbsps olive oil
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp water
1 clove garlic, chopped
¼ tsp ground caraway
⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp fresh mint, chopped
1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp dill pickle, chopped
1 tbsp green olives, chopped
Salt, to taste
Maple Mustard (recipe follows below)
Prepare the lemon juice: Finely chop the garlic clove and add it to the lemon juice. Let the mixture sit for 20 minutes.
For the cauliflower: Over medium-high heat, sauté the thyme sprigs and chopped cauliflower in olive oil until it turns golden brown. Then season with salt, to taste and allow to cool. Discard the thyme sprigs.
Prepare the tartare: Next, strain the garlic from the lemon juice and add the lemon juice to the tahini. Whisk in water, adding more as needed to achieve a creamy consistency. Season the sauce with caraway, cayenne pepper and then salt, to taste.
In a mixing bowl, combine the tahini sauce with the cooked cauliflower. Add the chopped herbs, pickles and olives. Mix the ingredients well and season with additional salt and lemon juice, as needed.
To serve: Spoon the tartare mixture into a ring mold on a plate. Be sure to pack it well enough so that it will retain its shape after the ring mold has been removed. Use a spoon to drizzle the Maple Mustard around the tartare.
Blend the Dijon mustard and maple syrup together, to taste and desired consistency.