Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Cauliflower Steaks with Harissa Oil

Like many vegetarians and vegans exploring blogospheres virtual library of cookbooks, I was introduced to the idea of 'cauliflower steaks' about 6 - 8 years ago.  Upon discovering it, I tried it at some point  and was a convert to appreciating that off white brain like vegetable: cauliflower.  I have to say its become one of my  preferred ways of eating cauliflower, somehow roasting it in the oven changes not only the texture, but the flavour into something actually quite delicious.  I know for some of you to call a piece of cauliflower a steak, may seem quite absurd, but  they are actually quite chunky and dare I say 'meaty', so for those of you a little apprehensive about this, please don't mock them until you've tried them, please.    

Although charred and caramelised  here and there, serving a cauliflower steak on its own is a bit, well pointless.  To appreciate it much more, I would advise drenching it in some kind of sauce.  There are so many sauces that you can choose from: an Italian tomato sauce; a herby pesto, soy sauce, PPKs savoury mushroom gravy, even an curried Indian style sauce.  I chose to inject some Moroccan flavours into my cauliflower steaks and this came in the form of both couscous and harissa.     

I made the harissa oil in advance a couple of weeks ago when I made a Sweetcorn, Chickpea and Pepper Couscous Salad. Drizzled over the cauliflower steak it made for a lovely meal to enjoy outside under the sunny blue skies. 
I have to admit, this plate visually was lacking something, even though the cauliflower steaks were served alongside spiced couscous, it needed either a green salad or green vegetables and the green vegetables that should have graced this plate would have been locally grown runner beans.  I am sharing these Cauliflower Steaks recipe with Ricki at Diet, Dessert, Dogs for her Wellness Weekends 5-9 September.

Cauliflower Steaks with Harissa Oil
Serves 4 depending on accompaniments
Ingredients and method for the Cauliflower Steaks
I cauliflower
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
Pre-heat oven to 180oc.
Wash and remove the outer leaves from the cauliflower, leave the core in tact and rinse clean.
Slice the cauliflower into 1/2 to 3/4 inch thickness and cut through carefully to the base.  
Lay on a non-stick baking sheet and brush with the oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Roast for 25 - 35 minutes or until tender.  It is ready when you can pierce a fork through it without much pressure.      
Or follow this link for different directions on how to make.
Ingredients for the Harissa oil
50g large red chillies, sliced. I like to keep the seeds in for more heat, but feel free to deseed.
1 garlic clove
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 – 4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon tomato puree
A pinch of salt
160ml extra virgin oil

Blitz all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Simple as that.  Decant into a glass jar with lid  and store in fridge.  Stir well before using.


  1. i wish my boyfriend would like cauliflower, i would so make this because i love it!

    1. Ha ha it's me in our house that's not that keen on cauliflower, my husband really likes it.

  2. your cauliflower steaks look great - I tried them a while back and failed dismally but I think my oven was too slow and they just didn't cook as I had hoped

    1. Thanks Johanna,
      I do hope you'll try them again.


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