This vegetarian recipe is so easy, so delicious, and so nutritious that you’ll want to add it to your regular dinner rotation. Read on for tips for turning a head of cauliflower into cauliflower steaks, and find out how to make this flavor-filled pistachio pesto with basil, tarragon, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, Dijon mustard, honey, and garlic.
I created this recipe for an adult/child cooking class I gave at Nantucket Culinary. Everyone loved learning how to turn the cauliflower into steaks, and the pesto was so darn delicious that the kids joined me in a spontaneous brainstorm of other ways to add the pesto to dinnertime, including adding to cooked pasta or as a topping for grilled flank steak, chicken, or shrimp.
I’ll bet you love to snack on pistachios. They’re kind of addicting. Right? But how often do you incorporate them into dinner recipes? Try my pistachio pesto by pureeing pistachios, evoo, honey, garlic, Parmesan cheese, Dijon mustard, and fresh basil and tarragon in a mini food processor, and you’re done. A squeeze of lemon juice and some lemon zest would be a nice addition too.
I heart cauliflower. It contains fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K (good for bone health), and potassium. And when it’s roasted, it’s flavor becomes subtle and sweet.
How to Make Cauliflower Steaks
– Wash the cauliflower and remove the outer leaves.
– Leave the stem intact, but cut off the bottom so the head of cauliflower stays flat and stable when placed on a cutting board.
– Place the cauliflower on a cutting board with the stable stem side down, and use a sharp knife (I use a chef’s knife) to slice the cauliflower in half.
– Starting at the cut side of each half, carefully cut two, 1-inch-thick slices. Trim away the stem ends.
– Break the remaining cauliflower pieces into florets. (You should end up with three to four big steaks, a few mini steaks, and a bunch of florets.)
- Cauliflower Steaks:
- 1 medium-size cauliflower, cut into three to four, 1-inch-thick whole slices (about 6 ounces per slice), plus remaining florets
- 3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- Pistachio Pesto: (You’ll have extra pesto for another recipe.)
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup lightly packed fresh basil, plus more for garnish
- ¼ cup lightly packed fresh tarragon
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup pistachio nuts, plus more (chopped pistachios) for garnish
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ clove peeled garlic
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon ground pepper, plus more to taste
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the cauliflower on the baking sheet, and brush the “steaks” and florets with 2 teaspoons of the oil. Sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt and black pepper. Roast until lightly caramelized and almost cooked through, about 18 minutes.
- Gently flip over each “steak” and floret and brush with 1 more teaspoon of the oil. Sprinkle with the thyme, a pinch of salt and pepper, and roast until well caramelized and the stems are cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- While the cauliflower is roasting, prepare the pesto. Place the olive oil, basil, tarragon, Parmesan, pistachios, mustard, honey, garlic, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a small food processor or blender and process until smooth. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
- Arrange the cauliflower steaks on a large plate or platter. Drizzle with the pesto, and garnish with pistachios and fresh basil.
Please let me know what you think of this recipe! Post a comment below 🙂
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