This recipe for oven-roasted cauliflower steaks is a delight to the senses. The steaks are crispy, yet tender, and topped with a freshly made basil pesto and a crunchy, toasted almond and cornmeal crumble. Serve this crowd-pleasing entrée on a bed of fresh spinach with fresh tomatoes and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Cauliflower Steak With Pesto and Almond Cornmeal Crumbs [Vegan]
For the Pesto:
- 4 cups fresh basil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
For the Almond Cornmeal Crumbs:
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup fine cornmeal
- 1/3 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/3 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/3 teaspoon dried marjoram
- Generous pinch sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
For the Cauliflower Steaks:
- 1 large head of cauliflower
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Heirloom cherry tomatoes, diced (garnish)
- Watercress (garnish)
To Make the Pesto:
- Toast the pine nuts carefully over medium low heat in a sauté pan while stirring with wooden spoon. They burn easily if left unattended. Once golden brown and aromatic, remove from heat and pour in a small bowl to cool.
- Meanwhile, place basil leaves in a small food processor, along with the two cloves of garlic. Process until finely chopped. Then add the olive oil, lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Process until combined, then pour into a small bowl or glass jar and set aside. You will need the food processor again later, so clean it when you have a minute or two.
To Make the Cauliflower:
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Remove the leaves from the cauliflower and trim the stem. Cut 1/2-3/4 inch slices of the cauliflower. Save any crumbles for another dish, or roast along with the steaks and top with pesto and crumbs.
- Heat a medium sauté pan to medium and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Reduce heat and place two cauliflower steaks into the pan, and sauté on each side for 2-3 minutes until golden brown.
- Transfer the steaks to a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until al dente. You want them to be tender, but not too soft.
To Make the Almond Cornmeal Crumbs:
- While the steaks are baking, place the cornmeal and sliced almonds into the small food processor, and pulse until small-medium almond chunks are formed.
- Add the herbs, salt, and pepper, and pulse to combine. Heat the coconut oil in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat and pour in the almond cornmeal mixture. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until golden brown and aromatic. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat once golden and set aside.
- Brush a warmed serving plate with pesto and top with a handful of watercress. Place the steaks top of the watercress and brush with pesto, sprinkle the almond cornmeal crumbs over the steaks, and top each with a spoonful of heirloom tomatoes. Serve immediately.