Cauliflower Steaks with Caper Walnut Salsa

Grilled cauliflower steaks, meaty, satisfying, and easy to prepare, served with a caper, fresh herb, walnut salsa.

Cauliflower steaks are something I’ve been wanting to make for a long time, but I never got to it. And, then I saw this recipe by the great Yotam Ottolenghi (can not recommend his cookbooks enough). Well, I’m really glad I finally cooked these steaks. They’re simple to make and delicious.

I love cauliflower, broccoli, kohlrabi, cabbage, and other brassicas. I love them raw, roasted, sautéed, and now that it’s warmer outside grilled. Cauliflower has a bad rep. People think it’s boring, but it’s very versatile. And, it’s especially wonderful in this recipe; I love the golden sear on these meaty steaks. Try it mashed, grilled, or roasted to benefit from the potassium and vitamin C it contains.

Cauliflower Steaks with Caper Walnut Salsa

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 2
Author Tania Van Pelt


For the Salsa

  • cup walnuts
  • cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons drained capers patted dry
  • 1 Fresno chile seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried currants
  • 2 tablespoon sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • Coarse sea salt

For the Steaks

  • 1 small head of cauliflower
  • Coarse sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 2 3- inch strips lemon zest
  • Lemon wedges for serving


For the salsa

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Toast walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once, until golden brown, 5-7 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop. Set aside. If cooking cauliflower in the oven, increase temperature to 425° for roasting cauliflower. If grilling, heat grill to medium-high.
  2. Heat oil and capers in a small saucepan over medium, swirling often, until capers burst and are golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Carefully pour oil and capers into a small heatproof bowl; let cool.
  3. Mix in walnuts, chile, parsley, mint, currants, vinegar, and lemon zest; season with salt.

For the steaks

  1. Remove only the toughest outer leaves from cauliflower (leave on any tender inner leaves). Trim stem to create a flat base. Resting cauliflower on stem, cut in half from top to bottom, creating two lobes with stem attached. Trim outer rounded edge of each piece to create two 1½"-thick cauliflower steaks (the stem should hold the florets together); set steaks aside. Very coarsely chop remaining florets. (I like to roast them in the oven or on the grill and add to a green salad.)
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add cauliflower steaks, oregano, and lemon zest. Cook, gently lifting up cauliflower occasionally to let hot fat run underneath, until steaks are deep golden brown (if oregano or lemon start to burn, place on top of steaks). Turn steaks and season with salt. Transfer skillet to oven or transfer the steaks to a hot grill, and roast or grill until cauliflower stems are fork-tender, 10–15 minutes.
  3. Spoon salsa over and sprinkle with salt. Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over.

Recipe Notes

You'll have leftover salsa. Use it on salads, as a dip, or a garnish for grilled chicken, fish, or other brassicas.

Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi