Total Time: 45 minutes
RECIPE OVERVIEW When you cook thick slabs of cauliflower as vegetarian “steaks,” they develop a substantial, meaty texture and become nutty, sweet, and caramelized. Recipes for cauliflower steaks abound, but many involve fussy transitions between stovetop and oven. For an easy way to produce four perfectly cooked cauliflower steaks simultaneously, simply use a rimmed baking sheet and a scorching oven. Steaming the cauliflower briefly by covering the baking sheet with foil, followed by high-heat uncovered roasting on the lowest oven rack, produces dramatic-looking, caramelized seared steaks with tender interiors. To elevate the cauliflower to centerpiece status, pair it with a vibrant Italian-style salsa verde—a blend of parsley, mint, capers, olive oil, and white wine vinegar. Brushing the hot steaks with the salsa verde ensures they soak up all of its robust flavor.
1½ cups fresh parsley leaves
½ cup fresh mint leaves
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons water
1½ tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
1 garlic clove, minced
⅛ teaspoon plus ½ teaspoon table salt, divided
¼ teaspoon pepper, divided
2 heads cauliflower (2 pounds each), outer leaves trimmed, stems cut flush with bottom, and heads halved, 1½-inch-thick slab cut from each half
1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 500 degrees. Pulse parsley, mint, ¼ cup oil, water, vinegar, capers, garlic, and ⅛ teaspoon salt in food processor until mixture is finely chopped but not smooth, about 10 pulses, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Transfer salsa verde to small bowl and set aside until ready to serve.
2. Place cauliflower slabs on rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper and rub to distribute. Flip slabs and repeat with remaining 2 tablespoons oil, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and remaining ⅛ teaspoon pepper.
3. Cover baking sheet tightly with aluminum foil and roast for 5 minutes. Remove foil and roast until bottoms of steaks are well browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Gently flip steaks and continue to roast until tender and second sides are well browned, 6 to 8 minutes.
4. Transfer steaks to platter and brush evenly with ¼ cup salsa verde. Serve with lemon wedges, passing remaining salsa verde separately.