Meatless Monday-Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Balsamic Drizzle

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Move over portobello mushrooms, Cauliflower Steak is the hot new vegan main course, and rightly so.  Cauliflower is the chameleon of vegetables and can become whatever you want it to be.  In this case, it takes center stage as a beautiful plant based steak with a caramelized crust and drizzled with a balsamic reduction.  Infused with herbs and smoked paprika, it is delicious and surprisingly hearty and done in 30 minutes.  I recommend serving over rice or couscous to soak up the delicious juices.

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When buying cauliflower, choose a head that is firm and heavy.  A lighter head will probably fall apart when you try to cut thick slices.  As it is, I plan on two steaks per head.  Sometimes I get lucky and get two more smaller ones but sometimes its mostly florets, which are still delicious but don’t have the same presentation.  If you are lucky enough to have your outside pieces stay together, cut off the curved edges so both sides can properly caramelize. This recipe serves two to three people but the sauce recipe can easily be doubled using two heads of cauliflower.

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TIP:  The trick to getting the proper caramelization or sear on the cauliflower is by managing the heating element of your oven.  Preheat your oven to a warm 300 and then increase the heat to get the element going again when you put the cauliflower in to roast.  Your baking sheet should be in the bottom third of the oven and close to the element. The key is to keep the element hot as ovens are designed to bake everything and keep the oven at a constant temperature, which means the heat source turns off as the desired heat is achieved, but we definitely want the heat to stay on.  Think of it as broiling in reverse…

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For my nutrition and health conscious friends who want to delve deeper into the goodness of cauliflower, here is an article that lists 8 Amazing Health Benefits of Cauliflower including heart and brain health. One serving of cauliflower contains 77 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C, vitamins and anti oxidants. Surprisingly, it is also an anti inflammatory and a good detoxifyer so don’t be surprised if you see cauliflower start showing up in even more foods…  Check my  recipes below that feature cauliflower.

CLICK THROUGH FOR MORE CAULIFLOWER RECIPES:

‘Chicken’ Fried Cauliflower Steaks with Creamy Mash

Cheesy Cauliflower Breadsticks

Spice Crusted Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Pizza with Cauliflower Crust

Cauliflower Leek Soup

Spaghetti with Cauliflower, Capers and Lemon

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ROASTED CAULIFLOWER STEAKS WITH BALSAMIC REDUCTION

  • One head of cauliflower (makes 2 steaks)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh pepper
  • 2 tsp dried Italian herb mix
  • 1 Tbsn fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey or agave nectar (optional)

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  • Preheat your oven to 300°F  . Remove leaves from stem end of cauliflower, leaving the core intact.

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  • Place cauliflower core side down on cutting board and slice in half with a large knife. Carefully slice a one inch thick steak from the center of each half. You will be left with two smaller steaks or possibly some florets.  Slice the rounded edges off for better caramelizing.

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  • Combine olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, herbs, and 2 tsp of the thyme into a bowl.

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  • Spray or brush a baking sheet with olive oil and arrange the cauliflower steaks along with smaller piecesBrush the cauliflower slices generously on both sides with this mixture.

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  • Turn the oven up to 425°F and place the baking sheet in the lower third of the oven near the element.  Roast in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until the bottoms are golden brown. Carefully turn over the steaks and spread any remaining olive oil mixture on the top. (optional)

 

  • While the cauliflower is roasting, pour balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan.  Stir in honey, if using, and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes until thickened.  Remove from heat and let cool.

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  • Continue roasting another 8 to 10 minutes to caramelize the other side.  Smaller florets may need to be removed to a platter earlier.  If the heating element on your oven turns off, increase the temperature to 450°F. When the cauliflower steaks are done, remove from oven and transfer onto a serving platter or individual serving plates.

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  • Sprinkle with additional fresh thyme leaves and drizzle with balsamic reduction.

 

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Balsamic

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
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  • One head of cauliflower (makes 2 steaks)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh pepper
  • 2 tsp dried Italian herb mix
  • 1 Tbsn fresh thyme (divided)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey or agave nectar
  1. Preheat your oven to 300°F  . Remove leaves from stem end of cauliflower, leaving the core intact. Place cauliflower core side down on cutting board and slice in half with a large knife.
  2. Carefully slice a one inch thick steak from the center of each half. You will be left with two smaller steaks or possibly some florets.  Slice the rounded edge off for better caramelizing.
  3. Spray or brush a baking sheet with olive oil and arrange the cauliflower steaks along with smaller pieces.
  4. Combine olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, herbs, and 2 tsp of the thyme into a bowl.
  5. Brush the cauliflower slices generously on both sides with this mixture.
  6. Turn the oven to 425°F and place the baking sheet in the lower third of the oven near the element.  Roast in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until the bottoms are golden brown. Carefully turn over the steaks and spread any remaining olive oil mixture on the top. (optional)
  7. While the cauliflower is roasting, pour balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan.  Stir in honey, if using, and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer for about 10 minutes until thickened.  Remove from heat and let cool.
  8. Continue roasting another 8 to 10 minutes to caramelize the other side.  If the heating element on your oven turns off, increase the temperature to 450°F
  9. When the cauliflower steaks are done, remove from oven and transfer onto individual serving plates. Sprinkle with additional fresh thyme leaves and drizzle with balsamic reduction.