Let me say right off the bat that this is more of an idea than a recipe. Lately, cauliflower steaks are everywhere. I can’t seem to pick up a food magazine or check out a blog without running into them. They’re the new “other white meat.” So I figured I needed to try them. And why not, while I’m at it, do something weird like coat them in hummus?
Before I get to that, I’m going to impose another video on you. After years of refusing to learn how to post a video, I’ve discovered that I actually like making videos–as long as I don’t have to be in them. (This same stipulation applies to photos in general.) Today’s video has nothing to do with food but is about a subject even dearer to my heart: Animals.
My daughter volunteers a few Saturdays a month at CARA, one of the local no-kill animal shelters. She’s been doing it for a couple of years now, and when I pick her up, I sometimes take a look around the front rooms where a few of the cats and the small dogs are kept. This past Saturday, I came early in order to take photos for a presentation that E was making at our church the next day. After taking photos and a little video in the front rooms, I asked permission to visit the dogs in the back. And I was stunned. Nothing about the front of the shelter prepared me for the vastness of the warehouse in the back, where the large dogs are kept row upon row in immaculately clean cages. E says that CARA is currently over their capacity of 300 dogs, and I believe it. Until someone adopts these dogs, others will have to be turned away. The situation is the same in shelters across the country.
Now, about these “steaks.” They were actually a bit of an afterthought. I decided I wanted to bake tofu in a hummus crust, and since I had the oven going, I decided to try the hummus idea on cauliflower, too. And, as these spur of the moment things go, I actually preferred the hummus on the cauliflower to the tofu because it had more flavor. It probably would have made a huge difference if I’d marinated the tofu, so if you want to try, I suggest soaking slabs of frozen-then-thawed tofu in a marinade for at least an hour before coating them with hummus. Also, no matter what you’re baking with hummus, try increasing or even doubling the seasonings (garlic, smoked paprika, cumin, etc.) in the hummus because baking seems to suck some of the flavor out of it.
I served both the cauliflower and the tofu with Spiced Lentils and Rice, which you can see in the top photo. For more delicious-looking ways to season cauliflower steaks, check out the links at the bottom of this post.
- 1 large head cauliflower (you will use only half)
- salt and pepper
- about 1/3 cup hummus, such as Blender Hummus
- fresh rosemary (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Wash the cauliflower and trim off all the leaves and the bottom of the stem. Place it stem-down on your cutting board. Cut it in half straight down through the middle. Take each half and make another parallel cut so that you have two “steaks,” about 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick. Make one more parallel cut on each half, to try to get a total of 4 steaks. Don’t worry if your final cut results in your cauliflower falling to pieces! How many steaks you get depends on the size and shape of your cauliflower. Reserve the individual florets for another use, or toss them with some hummus and roast them, too. (Individual florets will take less time, so be careful not to burn them.)
- Sprinkle one side of each cauliflower steak with salt and pepper and place it pepper-side down on a non-stick or silicone-coated baking sheet. Spread hummus lightly on the top of each cauliflower piece and sprinkle with fresh rosemary, if you want. Bake until cauliflower is just tender and hummus is beginning to lightly brown, about 30 minutes.
Cauliflower Steaks Take Over the World:
- Piri Piri Cauliflower Steak from JL Goes Vegan
- Cauliflower Sous Vide at What the hell does a vegan eat anyway?
- Cauliflower Steaks with Charred Red Pepper Sauce and Lentils at Coffee & Quinoa
- Cauliflower Steaks with Ginger-Soy Sauce from Two Peas & Their Pod
- Cauliflower Steaks with Creamy Siracha Aoili (use vegan yogurt) from LaaLoosh