Recipe by Chef Cindy
What is Cauliflower Steak?
Roasted Cauliflower got its reference to being like "steak" because the cauliflower is cut into steak-like slabs. You won't mistake the taste for a steak, but one can create a hearty plant-based meal that serves like a steak with the right mix of flavors and texture. Eggplant and portobello mushrooms are other "meaty" vegetables that are worth trying.
If you want to try a dish that tantalizes your savory taste buds, this is the one. The combination of cauliflower, shiitake mushrooms, broccoli, and pine nuts smothered in a pesto sauce will satisfy most carnivores' taste buds!
Is cauliflower healthy for you?
Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable just like broccoli, kale, and cabbage. It is a rich source of vitamin C, Vitamin K, and folate, providing vital minerals such as calcium and magnesium and is a good source of protein. It has a substantial amount of phytochemicals, unsaturated fats, and essential omega-3 fatty acids.
Top 8 Health Benefits of Cauliflower
- Anti-Inflammatory Properties
- High in Antioxidants
- Aids in Healthy Digestion
- Boosts Immune System
- Strengthens Bones
- Cuts down Risk of Cancer
- Helps Prevent Heart Disease & Stroke
- Detoxifies your Body
How should you purchase and store cauliflower?
Try and purchase fresh cauliflower that has creamy white florets and bright green leaves, and is free of spots or discoloration. It can store well in the crisper section of the refrigerator for up to 7 days. You can store it whole (or cut into florets), wrapped in plastic or a paper bag to protect the florets from discoloring.
Can you serve roasted cauliflower as a meal?
Yes, this is a great meal to make when having vegetarian/vegan guests over for dinner. Everything can be made ahead of time and just kept warm in the oven. Then when the guests are ready to eat, heat the pesto sauce, plate the ingredients, cover with pesto, and top it with thyme. Or you can present it nicely on a serving platter. If the guests are vegetarian, you can top it with a sprinkling of your favorite cheese!
What are other ways to serve Cauliflower?
- Side Dish - simply cut the cauliflower into florets for smaller size portions. It can complement almost any type of protein - meat, poultry or seafood.
- Cauliflower Rice - place in a food processor and pulse it until you have your desired texture. Sauté in a pan with olive oil.
- Crust or Wrap - purchase frozen crust or prepare crust from scratch. Cauliflower wraps are available in most markets now as cauliflower has become very popular.
- Mashed - boil and mash as you would potatoes.
- Vegetable & dip - served raw or steamed in a Crudité platter.
Looking for more ways to help battle the climate crisis?
Reducing your meat intake has been shown to have an impact. BUT if you still choose to eat meat in addition to this delicious Roasted Cauliflower "Steak," link to TMF Resources - Meat for tips on where to buy grass-fed beef that is sustainable, regenerative, and raised with organic farming values.
Shifting from current (meat-based) dietary norms to ovo-lacto-vegetarian and vegan diets would reduce greenhouse gas levels an average of 35%, reduce land usage for food production by an average of 42%, and agricultural water usage by an average of 28%!Vegetarian Diets: Planetary Health and Its Alignment with Human Health by Joan Sabaté
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Roasted Cauliflower Steak
- 1 head of cauliflower
- olive oil spray
- 1 tablespoon thyme seasoning
- 1 package shiitake mushrooms sliced thin
- 2 cups broccoli florets (bite size)
- 3 tablespoon pine nuts
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 cups fresh basil leaves
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese or substitute
- ⅓ cup pine nuts
- 1 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Clean cauliflower and slice into ¼ inch sections from the top of the head down.
- Place separated on a parchment lined baking sheet. Spray with olive oil and season with salt & pepper and thyme. Turn and repeat on other side.
- On a separate parchment lined baking sheet, roast the shiitake mushrooms. Place on a separate rack in the oven along with the cauliflower.
- Bake for 15 -20 minutes, flipping the cauliflower over once and moving the shiitakes around to cook evenly.
- Cut the broccoli into bite sized pieces and steam until tender in a double boiler. Place aside and keep warm in a covered dish.
- Toast the pine nuts, in a separate pan, for approximately 5 min on low heat.
- Prepare the Pesto Sauce: Place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well blended.
- Heat the sauce in a small pot.
- Plate the cauliflower first, then add the broccoli and shiitake. Drizzle with the pesto and top with some pine nuts and a sprig of thyme.