Spiced cauliflower steaks are served here with hearty black lentils, preserved lemon, parsley, pomegranate, and saffron rice. It’s a beautiful colour combination, yes, but more importantly, it tastes great. This is a surprisingly low-effort meal with an excellent result.
Preserved lemon, along with the pomegranate, is what brings this dish to life. Slices of the rind add acidity and salt without needing a vinaigrette, and it falls a bit flat without (see substitutions below).
Try this for a laid-back holiday dinner or make it for friends – because the thing is, it looks special, but it’s totally fine for a weeknight. The rice takes the longest time to cook, since brown rice needs more time. Everything is finished in forty minutes.
For some more seasonal weeknight dinner ideas, try this garden-friendly swiss chard frittata, green pasta sauce, or a mushroom-filled hearty lentil chili.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Rice: use plain rice if preferred, or cook it in vegetable broth to add a little extra richness. Turmeric rice is nice here too.
- Lentils: Green or mountain lentils (the little speckled brown ones) can be substituted for the black lentils, but not red or light brown. Choose one that holds its texture well. You could also use cooked chickpeas, but lentils are better.
- Preserved lemon: this is tricky, because it adds a lot to this dish – but I’d recommend using a vinaigrette to make up for it. Try this orange ginger vinaigrette.
- Spices: you can use a spice blend you like for the cauliflower, or change them up to suit your preferences.
To make cauliflower steaks, you cut a head of cauliflower into 3cm (1 in.) slices, from top down to stem. The florets need to stay attached to the stem so the whole thing doesn’t fall apart.You’ll get about four good ‘steaks’ from each cauliflower. For this recipe, the end bits are roasted alongside the steaks as it doesn’t really matter if they’re big slices or not.
How to Store
Storage: this is best fresh, but leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Freezing: I don’t recommend freezing this dish.
- Buy opaque containers: saffron shouldn’t be stored in a clear container, as it loses the aroma and colour when exposed to light. So those tiny clear containers that you see? Don’t buy them.
- Adjust the time: if your oven runs cold or your cauliflower was very large, you might need to cook the steaks for a few more minutes. Look for browning.
- Keep the leaves: cauliflower leaves, if they’re fresh and nice, taste great roasted. Cook them alongside the steaks (they might take a bit less time, so keep an eye out for that).
More Cauliflower Recipes
Ottolenghi’s Cauliflower Salad
Vegan Cauliflower Tacos with refried beans
Roasted Cauliflower Grain Bowls
Roasted Vegetable Pie with Puff Pastry
Cauliflower, Sweet Potato, and Chickpea Curry
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Roasted Cauliflower Steaks
- 220 grams brown rice
- 500 ml water
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Pinch saffron threads
- 1 medium cauliflower cut into 3cm / 1 in. steaks
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon sumac
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper to taste
- 150 grams black lentils cooked
- 1 preserved lemon sliced, rind only
- 10 grams fresh parsley finely chopped
- Pomegranate seeds
- 2 teaspoons honey to drizzle
- To make the rice, add all of the ingredients to a saucepan. Heat over high to bring to a boil, then cook, covered, on low heat for about 40 minutes or until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Alternatively, this can be baked at 200°C (400°F) in a covered dish for the same amount of time.220 grams brown rice, 500 ml water, 1 teaspoon sea salt, Pinch saffron threads
- While the rice is cooking, roast the cauliflower and cook the lentils.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the prepared cauliflower on the baking sheet.1 medium cauliflower
- Use your hands to cover the sliced cauliflower in the oil and spices, until well coated. Place onto the baking sheet and cook for 25-30 minutes, or until cooked through and golden. There should be some crispy edges. Cook the broken florets alongside the steaks.1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon sumac, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- To serve, add the rice and lentils to a large bowl. Top with the cauliflower, followed by the preserved lemon, pomegranate, parsley, and honey. Serve hot.150 grams black lentils, 1 preserved lemon, 10 grams fresh parsley, Pomegranate seeds, 2 teaspoons honey
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.
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