Chefs’ Picks: Veggie Comfort Food
The phrase “comfort food” often conjures up visions of spaghetti and meatballs, fried chicken and other meat-centric mains that people seek out as a source of both sustenance and solace. But with more diners adopting vegetarian or vegan diets, chefs are finding new ways to prepare comfort food classics sans the meat. Pros across the country share their hearty plant-based creations capable of satisfying the stomach… and the soul.

Il Porcino Cauliflower Parm

Italian Tradition, Tweaked
Chicago’s Il Porcellino has a menu filled with what you’d expect to find at an Italian restaurant — gnocchi Bolognese, pappardelle with meat ragout, giant meatballs — but when it comes to vegetarian options, the restaurant twists up tradition. In addition to the classic eggplant take on parmesan, Il Porcellino serves a version made with a cauliflower steak. “What I like about our cauliflower parmesan is that the cauliflower steaks retain some texture and the flavor of the cauliflower stands up to the cheese and marinara, says Chef Craig Degel. “It’s fairly well buried in Fontina and Parmesan, but it still tastes like cauliflower.”