Cauliflower Steak with Walnut-Kale Pesto

black plate of cauliflower steaks topped with a walnut kale pesto
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Winter white slabs of everyone’s favorite vegetable are roasted to tenderness and slathered in a rich, nutty green sauce in this easy recipe for cauliflower steaks with walnut-kale pesto.  

Cauliflower Steak. Or, Rather, Cauliflower “Steak”.

Whether you’re a die-hard vegan, a fan of meatless-Mondays, or an omnivore looking for a way to get more veggies into your diet, these hearty roasted cauliflower steaks are easy to love. In our eyes, the best vegan recipes are the ones that don’t hide the fact that they’re plant-based. Rather, this cauliflower steak recipe is a celebration of the gorgeous, flowery, tree-like shape of this cream-colored member of the mustard family. A good long roast in a 400°F oven means crispy edges and a mild, earthy sweetness at the cauliflower steaks’ tender, juicy core. An autumnal vegan pesto made of walnuts and kale provides a little seasoning for cauliflower, which we also flavor before roasting with a simple dusting of garlic powder, salt and olive oil. 

How to Cut Cauliflower Steaks

Cutting a head of cauliflower into thick, oven-ready slices (or "steaks") is relatively easy—like most new kitchen skills, this method of cauliflower prep primarily involves mustering the confidence to do it! Begin with a washed, whole head of cauliflower on a clean cutting board. Take your big chef's knife—bonus points if you keep it well-sharpened—and cut the cauliflower right down the middle. Now that you can clearly see the cauliflower's core, cut each half into thick steaks—about an inch thick, if you can manage it. When you run out of core, you're done cutting cauliflower steaks, but no need to discard the remaining florets! You can roast them right along with the roasted cauliflower steaks—they're great for snacking. 

sheet pan of roasted cauliflower steaks

TMP’s Four Best Cauliflower Recipes

We have a thing for cauliflower. Low in calories, big on flavor, easy to cook—what’s not to love? Here are our four best cauliflower recipes (this cauliflower steak recipe obviously being the fifth): 

Tools You’ll Need

Our Best Cauliflower Recipe Yet? 

We’re pretty psyched about how this autumnal recipe turned out—let us know how it went for you! Snap a photo of your vegan cauliflower steak with walnut pesto and maybe even a video of the beautiful people you feed it to. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

Cauliflower Steak with Walnut-Kale Pesto

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 head cauliflower
2 tsp salt
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
2 tbsp olive oil
1 recipe walnut-kale pesto

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Remove outer leaves from the cauliflower head. Resting cauliflower on stem, cut in half from top to bottom, separating the stem in half. Trim off outer rounded edge of each piece to create 1” thick steaks.
  3. Place cauliflower steaks and any other extra pieces on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, garlic powder, paprika. Roast until stems are tender when pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes. Top roasted cauliflower steaks with walnut-kale pesto and enjoy!