Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

Roasted cauliflower steak

The Spruce Eats / Pete Scherer

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
179 Calories
10g Fat
20g Carbs
9g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 179
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 231mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 10g 37%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 187mg 933%
Calcium 125mg 10%
Iron 5mg 30%
Potassium 706mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Cauliflower is quite the chameleon these days. You’ve seen it using its special powers pretending to be rice or pizza crust, potatoes, or even buffalo wings. With its low-carb virtue and mild flavor, cauliflower has become a popular substitute and proxy for deeply enjoyable dishes. You might think, then, that the cauliflower steak was created in the same spirit, by puritans seeking to separate you from your red meat. But the truth is that while, yes, cauliflower does make a fantastic substitute for an amazing variety of things, it can shine even more brightly when it’s flying solo in all its pure, unadulterated glory.

Now, nobody is ever going to confuse a slab of cauliflower with a slab of red meat, but don’t be surprised if cauliflower steak becomes your preferred cut when it comes to vegetables. Well-browned cauliflower is uniquely delicious, and slicing the vegetable like steak provides maximum surface area for caramelization. Furthermore, fully roasting the meaty stem confers a soft, creamy texture with the sweet earthiness of root vegetables like parsnip and rutabaga.

This recipe calls for cumin, with its distinctive woody pepperiness, to add some depth and complexity, but if cumin isn’t your thing, don’t let its presence here stop you from roasting these steaks. Go ahead and substitute, or just try the cauliflower on its own. You’ll likely be amazed at how much flavor and textural nuance can be revealed through such a simple preparation.

Ingredients

  • 1 large head cauliflower, with a minimum 1 1/2-inch diameter stem

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • Kosher salt, or coarse sea salt, to taste

  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds

Steps to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.

  2. Cut the cauliflower into two steaks: Make two thick slices that look like the silhouettes of trees, the trunks of which are longitudinal cross-sections of the cauliflower’s stem. Each steak will be about 3/4-inch thick, or one-half the diameter of the stem. Reserve the remaining cauliflower for another day, or roast it in the same manner as the steaks.

  3. Drizzle the steaks generously with olive oil and season with salt on each side, put them in a large cast-iron pan or on a foil-lined baking sheet.

  4. Check the steaks after about 15 minutes. When the pan-side of the steaks is well-browned, flip them over. Sprinkle the top of each steak with the cumin seeds and return them to the oven.

  5. When both sides of the steaks are a deep golden color and the florets are sizzling at the ends and crispy, remove them from the oven, plate and serve immediately.