Cauliflower Steaks with Kale-Walnut Pesto

cauloflower steak pesto.jpg

Craving a steak? If you’re vegetarian or vegan or trying to eat more plants, but want the heft of something to slice into, here’s a satisfying substitute. Besides that, the timid-appearing cauliflower is a nutrition powerhouse! It’s a member of the cruciferous or Brassica group of vegetables, like kale and broccoli. Cauliflower has a low glycemic index, meaning it won’t cause a rapid increase in your blood sugar, and is a great addition to a healthy diet.  It’s a good source of vitamin C and K, B vitamins, fiber, magnesium, protein and antioxidants.  For color and flavor, serve this with fragrant kale-walnut pesto.  Adding kale to the traditional basil adds fiber and many nutrients, and the walnuts add healthy fats that lend a creaminess that will make you not miss the cheese.

Serves: 2; makes 1 cup pesto


Roasted Cauliflower Steaks:

1 head cauliflower

1 tablespoon olive oil for brushing

a few pinches of salt

1 tsp garlic powder, divided


Kale-Walnut Pesto:

1 cup packed kale leaves, stems removed, sliced thinly

1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, chopped

2 T toasted chopped walnuts

1/2 tsp salt

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil



  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Using a sharp knife and starting at the top center of the cauliflower, cut two 1-inch-thick slices of cauliflower into steaks, cutting through stem end. (It will look like a cross-section of cauliflower.)
  3.  Reserve the rest of the cauliflower for another use.
  4.  Brush top of cauliflower steaks with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and garlic powder. Turn over and repeat on the other side.
  5. Place prepared cauliflower steaks on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast until tender, about 10 minutes on each side. Check with fork for doneness- cauliflower should be slightly golden and tender, but not falling apart.
  6. While cauliflower is roasting, prepare the pesto: place all pesto ingredients into a food processor and process until you have a coarse paste. Adjust texture with additional olive oil, if needed, and adjust salt to taste.
  7. To serve, place cauliflower steak on a plate, and drizzle with desired amount of pesto.


Thanks for coming by! I’d love to hear your comments! Want more recipes like this? Come join me in the Thrive Kitchen at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco, Mission Bay for a fun, hands-on cooking class.  You can get more information by joining my Facebook community,  To register for an upcoming Thrive Kitchen class, email or call 415-833-3450 for more information and to register.  Hope to cook with you soon!