Tender cauliflower steaks roasted in the oven and seasoned with a spicy harissa tahini sauce. Sprinkle with chopped dates and pistachios and you’ve got it all!
It’s not a secret, I love cauliflower and have always have, even though I understand this vegetable can be pretty boring for many people. In France in particular, many people hate it, and the reason is mainly due to the way we usually prepare it: boiled and served with either a bechamel or a vinaigrette. Boring… But in real life, cauliflower is just an awesome veggie! First of all, cauliflower provides some powerful health benefits. High in fiber, it is a great source of nutrients, including a few that many people need more of. Cauliflower also contains unique antioxidants that may reduce inflammation and protect against several diseases, such as cancer and heart disease.
Health benefits aside, what I also like with cauliflower is that it is an incredibly versatile vegetable and there are many ways to add it to your diet. It can be consumed cooked or raw and it makes a fantastic addition to just about any dish. For instance, cauliflower can be used to replace grains and legumes in your diet. Not only this is a fantastic way to increase your veggie intake, but it is also especially helpful for those who follow low-carb diets.
Find below a few original cauliflower recipes for you to try:
- Vegan Chickpea Curry with a Cauliflower Crust
- Veggie Beet Pizza with a Cauliflower Crust
- Roasted Cauliflower Hummus
- Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with a Walnut-Caper Salsa
I really can’t get enough with cauliflower, which is probably one of the vegetables that inspires me the most in the kitchen. A few weeks ago, I ordered a cauliflower starter in a restaurant and loved it until the last crumbs, and so did David (I admit I feel lucky to share my life with someone who is equally found of vegetables than me). It was tender, seasoned with spices for a little kick, sweet and crunchy too, with a harissa tahini sauce.
In case you are not familiar with harissa, it is indeed a Maghrebi hot chili pepper paste, the main ingredients of which are roasted red peppers, Baklouti pepper, serrano peppers, and other hot chili peppers, spices and herbs such as garlic paste, coriander seed, saffron, rose, or caraway, as well as some vegetable or olive oil for preservation. I bought mine dehydrated (as a spice mix) and I added oil and water to re-hydrate it.
Inspired by the dish I had in the restaurant, I made the recipe mine and changed it a little bit along the way, starting with a base of cauliflower steaks. You might have tried my previous cauliflower steak recipe and if not, I really recommend it to you. It kind of have a meaty texture that I find very satisfying and super tasty when you find the right seasoning. Believe it or not but you could actually be able to make a cauliflower hater changed his mind about it. That actually happened to me lately when I prepared on purpose a cauliflower dish to a friend that had specifically told me he didn’t like this vegetable. You might find me a little bit mean here, but I knew there was a slightly chance my friend would like it prepared in a whole new way, and in case she did not, I had still prepared another dish in replacement. No suspense: she loved it!
With chilly days of fall ahead of us, I thought you would love it too so I prepared this incredible cauliflower steak recipe using warm spices, lemon, olive oil, and a generous harissa tahini sauce (you can make it more or less spicy depending on your own palate) to drizzle over. As for the final touch, I like to sprinkle some pistachios and chopped dates, the latter bringing a sweet touch that balances the hot spices perfectly. It is ridiculously simple and it impresses guests every single time. Serve it on its own as a starter or also as a main, with a side of salad.
- 2 large cauliflowers
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 small dates, pitted and diced
- 2 Tablespoons pistachios, roughly chopped
- ⅓ cup (75g) tahini
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 1 Tablespoon harissa
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Salt and pepper
- 1-2 Tablespoons water
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C), and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Remove the leaves from the cauliflowers and trim the base so they sit flat on a board. Cut 2 to 4 thick slices out of the centre of each – about 1-inch (3cm) thick.*
- Arrange the ‘steaks’ on the prepared baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle some paprika and garlic all over, and bake for 15 minutes. Top the cauliflower steaks with the diced dates and chopped pistachios, and bake for another 15-20 minutes until tender and cooked through.
- In a small bowl, whisk the tahini with lemon zest and juice, olive oil, harissa, paprika, salt and pepper. Add water until smooth and thin consistency.
- When the cauliflower steaks are ready, drizzle the harissa tahini sauce over, and serve immediately.