Grilled Sesame Ginger Cauliflower Steaks. I was at the grocery store shopping for other items this week, (not colored cauliflower) and saw a package of 4 cauliflower steaks, each a different color--purple, orange green and white. It was really eye catching. I walked around the store to find my other items, because of course, like everyone, I try to only buy what I came to the store for. Nevertheless, the cauliflower in all of those jewel tones was really mesmerizing, so I found myself back at the produce section.
I have seen many recipes for cauliflower steaks, but none featured jewel tone cauliflower. Since it is still summer, and Labor Day is coming up, I decided that I must make grilled cauliflower steaks. I whipped up a Sesame Ginger marinade, cooked some jasmine rice in the Instant Pot, and I had a delicious dinner in less than 30 minutes, that was packed with nutrition and yep, those beautiful jewel tones. When we can enjoy dishes like this that are vegan, vegetarian, gluten free and dairy free, who can feel deprived by eating healthy?
What Is A Cauliflower Steak?
For some reason, vegan and vegetarian recipes often use standard American diet terms when describing their dishes. Of course, a cauliflower steak is not a steak, but it is cut in such a manner, that the shape resembles the shape of a steak. It is probably called a steak to indicate that yes, cauliflower can be the star of the meal, and as delicious and filling as a main course dish that features steak.
Cauliflower has traditionally been served as a vegetable in florets, that are broken off of the head and cooked. Then, cauliflower progressed to being minced, and called "rice", and even used as the main ingredient in "pizza". Now, the cauliflower head is cut in wedges, approximately 1 inch thick, to create a "steak" shape. It is solid, so it is suitable for baking, or grilling and can be the center of the meal. Cauliflower steak is now a thing. Huffington Post has some opinions on this subject.
Why Does Cauliflower Have Different Colors?
According to Specialty Produce, cauliflower is purple because it contains an antioxidant "anthocyanin". Antioxidants are good, and we definitely want more of those in our diet:
"Purple cauliflower is a cool-season biennial cruciferous vegetable, botanical name Brassica oleracea var. botrytis, belonging to the plant order Capparales. Purple cauliflower's color is due to the presence of the antioxidant anthocyanin, which can also be found in red cabbage and red wine. Purple cauliflower also goes by the variety names Sicilian Violet, Violet Queen and Grafitti cauliflower."
According to thekitchn, orange cauliflower contains more beta carotene than white cauliflower because of genetic mutation. As a result, it contains 25% more vitamin A! Well, by all means, let's fire up the barbecue!
Grilled Sesame Ginger Cauliflower Steaks
- 1 large head cauliflower, colored or white
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp coconut aminos
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 slice fresh ginger
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds or sesame seed blend
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 cup cooked white rice
- 1 tbsp cilantro or parsley for garnish
- Remove outer leaves and slice your cauliflower head into "steaks", as pictured, approximately 1 inch thick. Place cauliflower in 9x13 pan
- Mix all ingredients for marinade in small blender cup. Blend all ingredients.
- Pour marinade over cauliflower steaks. Spread marinade, and flip cauliflower to make sure each piece is completely covered. Let sit for 5 minutes or longer if you have time. When you remove cauliflower from pan for grilling, don't wash pan, as you will be adding rice to pan.
- Grill: Heat grill to high. Place cauliflower on grill, and cook on high for 2 minutes and flip to sear other side. Cook an additional 2 minutes, and reduce heat to low and cover. Let cauliflower cook for an additional 15 minutes, or until it is semi-tender, but not mushy. if you are cooking in oven, see oven directions in notes.
- Add cooked rice to marinade pan and stir to allow the remaining marinade to flavor the rice.
- To serve, add rice to plate and top with grilled cauliflower steak. Garnish with herbs and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Oven: Place cauliflower in pan with marinade in oven at 375 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes or until cauliflower is semi-tender, but not mushy. Remove cauliflower after baking. Place rice in pan and stir to allow the leftover marinade to season the rice.
- To make your own sesame seed flavor blend add: 1/4 tsp black sesame seeds, 1/4 tsp white sesame seeds, 1/4 tsp poppy seeds 1/4 tsp granulated garlic, 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp minced onion. Shake well!
This recipe specifies grilling for the cauliflower, and cooking rice according to package directions. If you are not able to grill, you can easily bake this marinated cauliflower in the oven for 30 minutes. Either way, the marinade makes the dish, gives tasty flavor to both the cauliflower and the rice.