This recipe combines the nutty flavor of cauliflower with sweet buttery pesto for an unforgettable dish! The steaks are roasted and seared, topped with fresh carrots and greens, and eventually smothered with warm lentils and hazelnut-pesto. This dish will look complex, but it's actually very easy.

Hazelnut-Pesto Smothered Cauliflower Steak [Vegan]

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Cooking Time



For the Cauliflower Steaks:

  • 1 large head cauliflower, outer leaves removed
  • Olive oil, for cooking
  • 1 cup brown lentils, dried
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups greens, arugula, baby kale, or spinach
  • 1/2 cup cashews, plus more for garnish
  • Salt and pepper

For the Hazelnut-Pesto:

  • 10 ounces frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Water (optional)


To Make the Cauliflower Steaks:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Holding the cauliflower head down with stem facing up towards you, cut vertically to get 4 steaks. Some florets will fall off. Reserve those for lentils. Heat skillet with olive oil and sear steaks 3-4 minutes each side. Transfer to a pan and roast for 20 minutes, or until tender.
  2. Once your steaks are in the oven, keep the skillet going. Pour in the vegetable broth and lentils and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and cook for 15 minutes, until tender. Toss in salt and pepper, chopped carrots, leftover cauliflower florets, and greens. Cover for another 5 minutes.

To Make the Hazelnut-Pesto:

  1. In a high-speed blender or food processor, blend all ingredients until smooth.
  2. With a spoon, place 2-3 tablespoons pesto on plate, top with steaks, lentils, and extra cashews.


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