I’m not a fan of veggies that masquerade as meat. I mean, I get it. Even if you’re a vegetarian (or vegan) I’m sure you might occasionally find yourself dreaming of meat, against your better judgement. But those ‘veggie sausages’ and tofurkey and faux this-and-that always really struck the wrong chord with me (probably, admittedly, because I do eat meat… but still).
During the brief periods in my life when I have gone vegetarian, I’ve always held strong to the fact that veggies are delicious in their own right. Vegetarian food can be excellent without pretending to be anything it’s not.
Thus, despite the title of this recipe, these ‘steaks’ are all veg, through and through. They celebrate the humble cauliflower in all its glory. Charred and crispy at the edges, tender in the middle. Light but satisfying and covered in the most addictive sauce I have come across in ages.
Similar to a classic chimichurri- bright, vibrant, fresh- this sauce is left chunky and gets an extra bite from toasty almonds, the perfect textural punch in contrast to the tender and (for lack of a better word) meaty cauliflower.
It’s dishes like this that make vegan sound goooooooood.
|Charred Cauliflower Steaks with Almond Chimichurri|| || |
- 1 head of cauliflower, leaves trimmed
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
- ½ tsp salt (smoked salt for bonus points)
- ½ lemon, juice
- Almond Chimichurri:
- 3 Tbsp whole almonds, skin on, lightly toasted
- 1.5 cups fresh Italian parsley (leaves and stems), lightly packed
- ⅓ cup fresh cilantro (leaves and stems), lightly packed
- 2 Tbsp fresh oregano leaves
- 4 medium garlic cloves, peeled
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp red chilli flakes
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Slice the cauliflower in half through the centre stem, then slice each half again, resulting in 4 large slices of roughly equal width (usually around 1.5-2 inches thick). In a small bowl, combine olive oil, paprika, pepper, salt and lemon juice. Brush over both side of the cauliflower steaks and place on an unlined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes then remove from oven and gently flip over each of the steaks. Bake for an additional 5 minutes.
- To make the chimichurri, add the almonds to a food processor and pulse until they are very coarsely chopped. Add parsley, cilantro, oregano, garlic cloves, salt and chilli flakes and continue to pulse until everything is blended to a chunky paste, scraping down the sides as needed. Add olive oil and red wine vinegar and pulse once or twice to combine.
- Serve cauliflower steaks with several generous spoonfuls of chimichurri (and more to serve... 'cause I always end up wanting more).