I’m on a pasta fast. Yes, this week has been hard. I’m not saying it’s worked and that I haven’t eaten pasta. I began to describe a pasta dish while writing my newsletter and got so hungry that I went into the kitchen and, like a crazy person slash hypnotized robot, started making penne alla vodka. So no, my pasta fast hasn’t been going well. I’ve already said pasta so many times in this post, it will most certainly be the number one hit on google when you look up “pasta.” The googlers will be disappointed. Because this is the opposite of pasta! But trust me on this one, it will fill that pasta-shaped void in your heart in the best way. It’s the most delicious roasted cauliflower steak with a totally bonkers spicy tomato sauce and crispy breadcrumbs. If this doesn’t do it for you, I can’t help you.
This recipe is so good! Sometimes you just want an excuse to eat tomato sauce, and this is it. Cauliflower is such a great vehicle for sauces and it’s extra good when you top it with delicious toasty breadcrumbs. You’ll be happy to know this recipe is completely vegan and vegetarian, but I think it’s something everyone will love. I used to hate cauliflower, but I have yet to find a vegetable I didn’t like roasted. My motto is, if it’s gross, try roasting it! Cauliflower steak gets these lovely crispy crunchy edges when you roast it.
Let’s get started on this recipe! First, trim the leaves off the outside of the cauliflower and be careful not to remove any stem from the bottom, since this will hold the cauliflower steaks together in one piece. Then slice the cauliflower into half inch steaks. You may only get three or four out of the cauliflower, but still keep the remainder and roast it, because you can serve this with the steaks. Place the cauliflower on an oiled baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and salt and bake for 30 minutes, turning halfway through.
To make the breadcrumbs, in a food processor, tear up a ciabatta roll. Pulse until you get coarse breadcrumbs with no large chunks. Heat a large skillet over medium high and add a tablespoon of olive oil, then toast the breadcrumbs, adding a couple pinches of salt. Stir them frequently and keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.
For the sauce, just wipe out the food processor and add the onion, garlic, capers, and chile. Pulse it until everything is roughly chopped. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat, and add the onion mixture, stirring until the onion is translucent, about four minutes. Pour in the white wine and stir until all the liquid is evaporated. Add the tomatoes and stir. Bring to a boil and then bring down to a simmer on low. Simmer for about ten minutes. Add the parsley and remove from heat.
To serve, top each cauliflower steak with tomato sauce and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Serve immediately.
- 1 large head of cauliflower
- kosher salt
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 ciabatta roll
- half of a medium yellow onion, peeled
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 red chile
- 2 tbsp capers
- ¼ cup white wine
- 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup parsley leaves, chopped finely
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Trim off the cauliflower leaves. Slice the cauliflower into ½ inch steaks. You may only get 3 full steak slices that don't break apart, which is fine! Just throw any extra trimmings onto the pan. On a large baking sheet, drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil. Place the cauliflower steaks and any extra cauliflower onto the pan. Drizzle with another tbsp olive oil and sprinkle generously with kosher salt. Bake for 30 minutes, turning halfway through to brown each side evenly.
- In a food processor, tear up the ciabatta roll and then pulse until it makes chunky breadcrumbs. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add a tbsp of olive oil. Add the breadcrumbs, a couple pinches of salt, and toast, stirring until they're lightly browned and crisp. Remove from heat.
- Wipe out the food processor. Add the onion, garlic, chile, and capers and pulse until everything is nicely chopped. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil, and add the onion mixture, cooking and stirring frequently for about 4 minutes. Add the white wine to deglaze the pan and stir until it's mostly evaporated. Then add the crushed tomatoes and stir, adding salt to taste. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer, stirring every few minutes. Cook for 10 minutes then remove from heat.Stir in the parsley.
- To serve, pour the sauce over each steak and top with the crispy breadcrumbs.