Spiced cauliflower steaks
Recipe summaryClick image to view larger version
Suitable for vegans
Category Main course
Preparation 15 mins + marinating
Cooking 20 mins
These griddled cauliflower 'steaks' are spicy with a robust flavour and texture, great for a spring Sunday lunch with aioli, flatbreads and salad.
GO VEGAN: Make sure you opt for the olive oil rather than the melted butter, when mixing your spice paste.
- For the spice mix: 1/4 cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 3 cardamom pods, crushed and seeds removed
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- To serve: pitta or flatbread
- tomato, cucumber and onion salad
- chopped coriander
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- ½ tsp allspice berries
- 1 tbsp sumac
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- juice of 1 lemon
- 100g butter, melted or 6–7 tbsp olive oil
- almond aioli
- lemon wedges
Trim the outer leaves and stem of the cauliflower and place in a pan fitted with a steamer. Cover and steam for 8–10 minutes, until the cauliflower is only just tender when pierced with a small knife. Remove and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Toast the whole spices in a dry frying pan until they smell aromatic, then place in an electric grinder or mortar and pestle. Grind until fine, then mix with the remaining ground spices in a bowl. Add the lemon juice, garlic, and melted butter or olive oil, and mix to a paste.
When the cauliflower is cool enough to handle, turn it on its side and carefully slice 4 'steaks' about 2–3cm thick. (The remaining bits of cauliflower can be broken into florets and tossed with the rest of the marinade, then either sautéed or roasted briefly in a hot oven and served alongside the steaks, or with another meal.) Brush the steaks with the spice paste on both sides, making sure that they are well covered, and set aside to marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Heat a char-grill pan and sprinkle the steaks with a pinch of salt. Grill for a few minutes on each side, taking care when turning, and watching that the spices don't burn. You may want to brush a little extra butter or oil on
the steaks as they cook. As soon as they become golden brown with charred lines, remove to a warm plate for serving.
To serve, spread a warm flatbread or pitta with aioli, top with chopped tomato, cucumber and onion, a wedge of lemon and a good scattering of chopped coriander.
COOK'S TIP The steaks reheat well so can be prepared and cooked in advance. You could serve with a minty yogurt dressing or tahini instead of the aioli.
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