Cauliflower Steaks with Warm Corn & Poblano Salsa ♥

Cauliflower Steaks with Warm Corn & Poblano Salsa, another vegetarian supper ♥ A Veggie Venture
graphic button small size size 10 Today's easy summer supper: Thick slices of cauliflower ("steaks" we call them) roasted until golden and topped with a warm salsa of summery vegetables, poblano and corn. Very Weight Watchers Friendly, just 2 Freestyle points. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real (with a vegan dressing). Naturally Gluten Free. graphic button small size size 10

It took me – oh dear, this is embarrassing – seven years to embrace cauliflower steaks. There's photo evidence, way back in 2011. In 2018? It's Cauliflower Steaks over and over again. They're just so, well, thrifty! When I cut up a head of cauliflower for Roasted Cauliflower (A Veggie Venture's very first recipe back in 2005!), the florets shrink so much that the cauliflower doesn't seem to go far.

Cauliflower steaks are totally different! They seem meaty and substantial, even though after the steaks are cut, there's still lots of cauliflower left over for something else. You'll definitely be looking for ways to use up the rest of the head. (Hello, cauliflower recipes!)

Cauliflower makes no list of "Mexican" vegetables although as our international food distribution system goes, I suspect that much of the cauliflower found in the U.S. is grown in Mexico. But on Day Two of our month-long Deep Mexico cooking adventure, I had a head and a half of cauliflower to use up and no surprise, turned to steaks. This was a fun, easy summer supper, healthy too, perfect for Meatless Monday or another vegetarian supper.

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Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 30 minutes
Makes as many steaks as cauliflower size allows & 1-3/4 cups salsa

1 or more heads cauliflower
Olive oil
Salt and pepper (do be generous, especially with salt)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 red onion, diced small (about 50g)
1 small or 1/2 large poblano, diced small (about 50g)
Salt to taste
Kernels from 2 ears of corn, (about 250g, How to Cut Corn Off the Cob, Keeping All Ten Fingers, Capturing Every Delicious Kernel and Every Drop of Sweet Corn "Milk")
2 cloves garlic, minced
Zest and juice (about 2 tablespoons) of 1 lime

PLATING, per serving
1 Cauliflower Steak
About 1/2 cup Salsa
Cooked Quinoa, optional
Buttermilk Garlic Salad Dressing or another creamy dressing
Chopped cilantro

STEAKS Heat oven to 400F/200C. Remove the leaves from the cauliflower with a sharp knife, then trim off the end of the core, removing the gnarly bits but leaving the core intact. Now eyeball the head, noting the position of the core, deciding how many steaks to cut. Place the head core-side down and cut straight down through the center (if cutting 2 or possibly 4 steaks) or to the left of the right of the center (if cutting 1 or 3 steaks). Then make the extra cuts to form steaks about a scant inch (2.5cm) thick. Working carefully to keep the steaks intact, brush one side with olive oil and season generously with salt, then arrange oil-side down on a bare baking sheet, then oil and season the top. Roast for 25 to 40 minutes until golden but still firm.

SALSA While the steaks cook, heat the olive oil on medium high until shimmery. Stir in the onion and poblano (it helps to have them prepped before heating the oil), season with salt and stir again, cook until just beginning to soften. Stir in the corn, season again, cook until the corn is warmed through. Stir in the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, just enough to remove the rawness. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime zest and juice. If the steaks aren't done, cover to keep warm.

PLATING Arrange the steaks on a place, scatter the Salsa over the steaks, covering the core, leaving visible the dramatic splay of cauliflower. Sprinkle with cooked quinoa and drizzle with Buttermilk Garlic Salad Dressing. Dig in!

LEFTOVERS The Salsa is a great addition to tacos, salad bowls, scrambled eggs.

VARIATIONS For a little color, stir in some sun-dried tomato. To bulk up the Salsa, include a diced zucchini or punch up the heat à la Calabacitas.

A large head of cauliflower yields 3 or possibly 4 steaks, a small head 1 or maybe 2. For large heads of cauliflower, I use a long serrated bread knife to cleanly cut the steaks.
There are just two tricks to getting Cauliflower Steaks right. First, salt! The steaks taste flat-flat-flat without salt. Even with another seasoning (cumin, maybe or chili powder, say), the salt is necessary. Second, time! The steaks need to roast until "done" but not so done they fall apart. It's easy to pull these out of the oven too early.

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A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2018

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.