Deeply browned roasted cauliflower is one of my favorite simple side dishes. It’s savory, a touch sweet, and a blank canvas for flavor variations. If you take the extra step of slicing the heads into steaks instead of florets, it can transform into a festive plant-based entrée.
To quickly and easily achieve even browning and a tender core, it’s best to cook the cauliflower steaks in two stages — start them in a hot skillet of oil, then transfer them to the oven to cook through. To further speed up cooking, stick a sheet pan in the oven before turning it on so that the pan will be hot when the seared cauliflower steaks land on it.
Many cauliflower steak recipes don’t give any instructions for what to do with the florets that fall off when you trim the heads into steaks, but there’s no reason why you can’t cook them along with the steaks. Once you’ve got the steaks in the oven, give the florets a couple of minutes in the hot skillet to jumpstart their cooking, then add them to the sheet pan in the oven.
For serving, I like to drizzle these cauliflower steaks with a generous amount of sesame tahini sauce. It’s a very simple mixture of tahini, lemon, garlic and water that, because it is quite rich, easily turns these vegetables into a main dish. Depending on your brand of tahini, you may need more or less water to turn it from a paste to a drizzleable sauce; make sure to wait to season the sauce with salt until after you’ve added the water to ensure it tastes to your liking.
Sesame Roasted Cauliflower
Sign up for the AJC Food and Dining Newsletter
Read more stories like this by liking Atlanta Restaurant Scene on Facebook, following @ATLDiningNews on Twitter and @ajcdining on Instagram.