Are you excited for grilling season? Personally, vegetables get me the most excited for grilling — not hamburgers or steak. Vegetables get so sexy and glamorous with a good set of grill marks, a little char around the edges, and that outdoorsy smoky flavor. These cauliflower "steaks" demonstrate that more than almost anything else I've grilled; their tongue-in-cheek name is a good indicator of how satisfying a centerpiece they make on any table, vegetarian or not. They're smoky and spicy, with a squirt of lime and flurry of cilantro.
Cauliflower "steaks" have exploded into the recipe space lately, a neat trick of slicing a head of cauliflower into planks and giving them the center of the plate. This idea has been around for a long time, but lately chefs have gotten into the mix too. You'll find cauliflower steaks on menus here, there, and everywhere.
Emily shared a really delicious cauliflower steak recipe with us last fall and it got me excited for grilling season:
→ Get Emily's cauliflower steak recipe: Recipe: Cauliflower Steaks with Ginger, Turmeric, and Cumin
Have you ever made cauliflower steaks? If you have, you know that when you slice a cauliflower head into planks, you are left with a lot of little chunks and florets. Here are some good ways to put those to use!
5 Things to Make with Cauliflower Florets
- Recipe: Mediterranean Cauliflower Couscous Salad
- Recipe: Cauliflower Fritters with Mint & Pea Spread
- Recipe: Creamy Curried Cauliflower Soup
- Quick Recipe: Potato and Cauliflower Curry
- Recipe: Whipped Cauliflower with Crème Fraîche
One more note: I love the flavor from throwing these on the grill. But if you can't cook outside you can get a similar effect by cooking them on high heat on a grill pan on the stove. The chipotle will give a little of smokiness. Not quite as good as cooking outdoors, but close enough!
Grilled Chipotle Lime Cauliflower Steaks
2 large heads cauliflower
1/4 cup olive oil
2 limes, zested and juice
2 cloves garlic, finely grated
1 teaspoon honey or agave syrup
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon chipotle powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
Lime wedges, to serve
Remove the leaves on each cauliflower head and trim the stem end until you can set the cauliflower flat on the cutting board. Use a large, sharp knife to trim off the sides, then cut the cauliflower into 3 to 4 thick "steaks." Reserve the florets that fall away for another recipe (see Recipe Notes).
Whisk the olive oil with the lime juice in a small bowl. Whisk in the grated garlic and honey or agave syrup. In a separate bowl, mix the lime zest, paprika, chipotle, and salt.
Heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium. Brush one side of each cauliflower steak with the olive oil mixture and sprinkle generously with the chipotle powder mixture. Place the seasoned side down on the hot grill. Brush the tops with the olive oil mixture and season with the chipotle mix.
Cover the grill and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the lid and carefully flip the cauliflower. Cook covered for an additional 5 minutes or until done to your desired texture.
Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve immediately with lime wedges on the side.
- Cooking time: Final cooking time will depend on how thick you cut the steaks, and on your particular grill. I cooked mine at high heat until well grilled on the outside, but still a little snappy inside.
- Cauliflower bits: Here's a fun tip from one of our readers: Toss the cauliflower bits too small to fit on the grill grates with olive oil and some extra chipotle mix, then grill in a perforated grill pan made for grilling vegetables. The grilled cauliflower bits can be served as a side dish or tossed in salad.