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Cauliflower ‘steaks,’ a new way to roast this humble vegetable

By Emily Ho/

This article was published February 6, 2014 at 12:00 a.m.

Cauliflower Steaks With Ginger, Turmeric and Cumin

A humble cauliflower may not seem like the most exciting vegetable. However, cut one into thick slabs and roast it with spices, and you can transform it into quite the fine dish. Rich with the colors and flavors of turmeric, ginger, cumin and cilantro, these cauliflower “steaks” feel fancy enough for a dinner party, yet they’re simple enough for an everyday supper as well.

Roasting cauliflower turns it into something magical — nutty, sweet and not at all boring. Cutting it into “steaks” helps the cauliflower roast more evenly, and it looks lovely, too. This recipe takes a cue from Indian flavors but doesn’t require you to mix a ton of spices or spend much time over the stove. Just quickly sear the cauliflower in a skillet; then brush it with the spice mixture, and roast for about 15 minutes. Finish with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro (or parsley if you’re cilantro-averse).

I like serving these steaks atop a bed of quinoa for a light, vegan-friendly dinner. If you want a more substantial yet hardly more complicated meal, double or triple the olive oil and spice mixture, toss it with some chickpeas, and roast those alongside the cauliflower.

Cauliflower Steaks With Ginger, Turmeric and Cumin

Serves 3


1 large head cauliflower

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

Small handful of cilantro, chopped


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Remove the leaves, and trim the stem end of the cauliflower, leaving the core intact. Using a large knife, cut the cauliflower from top to base into three 3/4-inch-thick “steaks.” Season each steak with salt and pepper on both sides. (Reserve loose florets for another use.)

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the cauliflower steaks until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Gently transfer the steaks to a baking sheet.

Whisk together the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, ginger, cumin and turmeric. Brush or spoon the mixture on the cauliflower steaks.

Roast in the oven until tender, about 15 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Emily Ho is a writer for, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit comments or questions to


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