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Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Tomato, Olive & Chickpea Relish

Written by Melissa Pasanen on . Posted in Recipes, Taste of the Landscape

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Tomato, Olive & Chickpea Relish
Serves 4
At Leunig’s, the roasted cauliflower steaks are the centerpiece of a vegan entrée served with the relish as well as a cashew “cream cheese” and roasted red pepper coulis sauce on a caper and tomato quinoa pilaf. We streamlined the recipe, but this would make a great entrée with any grain pilaf and also a substantial side dish for simply grilled meat or fish.
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  1. 2 small heads cauliflower (each about 1 ½ pounds)
  2. ¼ cup olive oil, divided
  3. 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  4. 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  5. 3 tablespoons minced red onion
  6. 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano leaves
  7. 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  8. 3/4 cup cooked chickpeas (drained and rinsed if canned)
  9. 3/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  10. 1/3 cup sliced kalamata olives
  11. 1/3 cup sundried tomatoes in olive oil, drained and chopped
  12. 1 large plum tomato, diced
  13. 3 tablespoons golden raisins
  14. 1 scallion, white and light green part sliced thinly on the bias
  15. 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  16. 1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  17. 3 tablespoons honey
  18. 2 teaspoons mild chili powder (or Peppadew rub if you can find it)
  19. Freshly ground pepper and coarse salt, to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Trim just the green leaves from the bottoms of the cauliflowers. Set them root side down on a cutting board and, using a large knife, carefully slice two one-inch-thick steaks from the center of each cauliflower such that the root end holds each “steak” intact. Carefully trim the root end of the four steaks while making sure to leave each intact. Set the cauliflower steaks aside on a rimmed cookie sheet. From the remaining parts of the two cauliflowers, chop about 3/4 cups of small chickpea-sized cauliflower florets for the relish and save the rest for another use. (You can sear and roast more of the cauliflower if you want, but they will not present as nice steaks without the root to hold them together.)
  2. In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, shallot, red onion, oregano, thyme and the reserved cauliflower florets and cook, stirring occasionally, just until softened but not colored, about 7-10 minutes. In the meantime, put the chickpeas, lemon zest, olives, sundried tomatoes, plum tomato, golden raisins, scallion, parsley, red wine vinegar and 3 teaspoons of the olive oil in a medium bowl. Add the cooked garlic mixture to the bowl, stir to mix well and set aside.
  3. Wipe out the sauté pan, add about half the remaining olive oil and place the pan back over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add as many of the cauliflower steaks as possible and sear, about 3 minutes per side until dark golden. Repeat as necessary until all four steaks are seared on both sides, adding more olive oil if needed. Transfer the cauliflower steaks back to the rimmed cookie sheet. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey and 1½ tablespoons of hot water and brush both sides of each steak with the honey mixture and then sprinkle with chili powder and salt to taste. Roast in the oven until tender but not soft, about 15 to 20 minutes. Taste the relish and season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve warm steaks topped with tomato, olive and chickpea relish.
Adapted from chef and co-owner Donnell Collins, Leunig’s Bistro, Burlington
Adapted from chef and co-owner Donnell Collins, Leunig’s Bistro, Burlington
Vermont Life Magazine
Melissa Pasanen

Melissa Pasanen

Contact Melissa Pasanen at and follow her on Twitter at

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