Roasted cauliflower gets Mexican twist with pipián mole at Chisme
The whole roasted head of cauliflower wasn’t born in Texas. But, as the saying goes, it got here just as quick as it could.
The trendy dish has popped up in restaurants from New York City to New Orleans to San Francisco over the past few years. Chisme chef Mara Serna added her take to the restaurant’s menu a couple weeks ago, and it’s the first version I’ve seen in San Antonio.
Serna’s is dubbed Roasted Green Goddess Cauliflower, and she tops the imposing vegetable with a generous cloak of verdant pipián mole made from chile, tomatillo and ground pumpkin seeds. A second dose of pumpkin seeds, this time toasted, are sprinkled on top along with Cotija cheese and cilantro.
“The idea came to me after a trip to Puebla / Oaxaca with my family over the holidays. It reminded me of how many bright & bold flavors exist in all the different places in Mexico,” Serna wrote in a Facebook message. “I thought about making this particular green mole pipián sauce, but in a way that it was the star of the dish (no offense, cauliflower). Also, having a lot of vegetarian/vegan friends, I think it’s important to have options for them that are creative and (hopefully) really delicious first, and vegetarian/vegan second.”
I’m happy to confirm the dish’s deliciousness. It’s served in a wide, round platter with a steak knife. Lop it in half, trim off individual florets and enjoy. Oh, and get it while you can.
“The dish will definitely be on our menu for a while, although it’s hard to say how long,” Serna said. “I get restless and like trying new things out, and our team looks to me for keeping things creative and fresh at Chisme.”
Paul Stephen is a San Antonio Express-News staff writer. Read more of his stories here. | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @pjbites | Instagram: @pjstephen