"Peter Callahan’s Party Food." Caterer to the stars, Peter Callahan produces beautiful bites, and whether they are in an array of the mini hors d’oeuvres that he is credited with inventing, a sensational sushi station, or an ice cream stand, all are artistically displayed. You’ll be wowed by his techniques for tablescapes, bars, and buffets. Callahan also shares clever dishes for plated dinners, like the recipe below, which he says is known in New York as a “cauliflower T-bone.”

For occasions of a more casual nature, he includes family-style menus, such as a Vietnamese dinner and moules frites for a crowd. If you enjoy entertaining, here’s your new go-to. Clarkson Potter publishers. $35.

Reach Marion Sullivan at mbscooks@gmail.com.

Ginger-Scented Roasted Cauliflower

From "Peter Callahan’s Party Food": “You have to start with a nice center cut from the cauliflower. We brush it with good olive oil and powdered ginger and then roast it in a hot oven until it’s charred, but not burnt, and soft and caramelized. We add a little broth (vegetable broth or our Wild Mushroom Soup) and some vegetables around it, in this case a roasted spring onion and three roasted candy-striped beets. All of a sudden that plate looks pretty sexy.”

Serves 4


1 large head of cauliflower

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons powdered ginger

2 teaspoons coarse salt

Freshly ground white pepper (optional)


Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.

Remove the leaves from the cauliflower but keep the stem intact. With a large, sharp knife, slice the cauliflower in ½- to ¾-inch-thick slices vertically from the top down through the stem.

Liberally brush both sides of the cauliflower “steaks” with the olive oil. In a small bowl, mix the powdered ginger and salt and sprinkle on both sides of each steak.

Arrange the steaks in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast until the bottom is golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Turn the steaks over and roast until cooked to the desired doneness, about 20 minutes more. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.