I’m a few years late to the cauliflower steak party, but in this case, it really is better late than never. Cauliflower steaks are AMAZING! I bought a huge head of beautiful cauliflower when we went apple picking, and I knew that it was too pretty to break up into florets. And, so, these steaks were born. They don’t taste like typical cauliflower at all, instead, they take on a slightly smoky, savory taste– somewhat meat-like, we must admit. Dressed with tangy black garlic, nutty almonds, and bright thyme, the cauliflower is the star of any meal.
To make it, get a head of cauliflower, pull off its leaves, and trim its stem. Then, turn the cauliflower upside-down so that the stem is facing up. Cut down either side of the stem so that you have a center cross-section of the cauliflower. The florets on either side will fall off, and you can save them for another use. Depending on the size of your cauliflower, you might be able to cut the cross-section in half so that you end up with two 1-inch steaks.
Preheat your oven to 400º F. Then, heat some oil in a large, oven-proof skillet, and sear your cauliflower steaks on both sides until they pick up good color. If you don’t have a skillet large enough to fit both of the steaks, you can sear them individually and then transfer them to a baking sheet.
Once the cauliflower is browned, sprinkle each half with salt. Then, spread on some black garlic and sprinkle over sliced almonds. I filled in the rest of the skillet with some of the extra florets, but that’s optional. Bake the cauliflower for approximately 20 minutes until it is tender and can easily be pierced with a knife. When the cauliflower is done and still hot, sprinkle over some fresh thyme leaves.
Black garlic is nothing like fresh garlic. It is fermented, so it is tangy and savory but doesn’t have the sharpness or spiciness of fresh garlic. The garlic flavor is much more subtle. The tanginess works so well with this cauliflower that I urge you not to skip it. It perfectly balances the cauliflower’s deep meatiness. Because this cauliflower was the star of our plates, I recommend serving it as a vegetarian main course rather than trying to find a protein that can match it.
- Cauliflower- 1 large head
- Black garlic- 1 clove per steak
- Sliced almonds- 1/4 cup
- Fresh thyme