Apr 10, 2019

Spiced Cauliflower “Steaks” with Avocado-Tomatillo Salsa

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Chili powder, coriander and cayenne compliment the avocado-tomatillo salsa served with the side and the slight smoky flavor from the slightly charred edges of the cauliflower.

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This post is sponsored by the California Avocado Commission.

Los Angeles is known for both the incredible things with vegetarian alternatives or meatless meals as well as their ability to add avocado to just about everything! This recipe not only happens to be a good option for a vegetarian entrée (or a side) it is also vegan. The sauce becomes thick and creamy from the addition of avocado rather than the addition of any dairy.

Spiced Cauliflower “Steaks” with Avocado-Tomatillo Salsa

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Avocado – When shopping for avocados, look for ones that are firm but “give” slightly when gently squeezed in your hand. You can also remove the top stem, though I prefer to call it a nub, at the top of the avocado – if you remove it and it is green, it’s most likely ready to eat. If it’s brown then it’s probably overripe.
  • Cauliflower – Cauliflower is a versatile vegetable – it can be used as a vegetarian fill-in for steak, finely diced and used as rice, or roasted as florets In this recipe a full head of cauliflower is cut into 1½-inch thick “steaks” rather than being cut into florets, it keeps as much of the cauliflower head intact to pan sear it in a skillet.
  • Spices – Chili powder, coriander and cayenne compliment the avocado-tomatillo salsa served with the side and the slight smoky flavor from the slightly charred edges of the cauliflower.
Avocado-Tomatillo Salsa ingredient shot blender

How to Make Cauliflower Steaks

For the Avocado-Tomatillo Salsa:

  1. Char the tomatillos. Heat oven to broil on high. Add tomatillos to a baking sheet cut side down and broil (keeping an eye on them) until slightly charred, about 6 minutes.
  2. Blend the sauce. Add the roasted tomatillos to a blender with the avocado, jalapeño, onion, garlic and cilantro. Pulse until smooth and season to taste with salt. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week.

For the Spiced Cauliflower “steaks”:

  1. Heat oven. Heat oven to 400ºF.
  2. Trim the cauliflower. Remove the tough outer leaves from the heads of cauliflower and trim the stems. Rest each of the heads of cauliflower on the stem and cut in half. Cut off the outer rounded edge from each half so that you are left with 4 total 1½-inch thick “steaks”. Reserve the remaining cauliflower florets for another use.
  3. Season the cauliflower steaks. Stir together the chili powder, coriander, salt, pepper and cayenne. Rub the cauliflower with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil then season the cauliflower steaks on both sides. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, add the remaining tablespoon of the olive oil and heat through.
  4. Cook the cauliflower. Working in batches (depending on the size of the pan), cook the cauliflower until golden-brown, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining olive oil then flip the steaks and continue to cook until the second side is golden-brown, about 3 minutes. Repeat with remaining cauliflower and olive oil.
  5. Finish in the oven. Add to an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet and roast until completely tender, about 10 minutes.

For serving:

  1. Assemble and serve. Spoon some of the salsa on a plate and use the back of a spoon to create a swoop. Place one of the steaks on top of it and repeat with the remaining salsa and steaks.

Tips for California Avocados

  • California avocados are a great way to thicken sauces and add a creamy element to any dish. While it is a vegan/ dairy-free alternative to creams and other thickening agents it also adds delicious flavor!
  • To get the most out of your California avocado, slice it lengthwise with a sharp knife and remove the pit. Use a spoon to easily scoop out the creamy center.
  • The tangy blended salsa can also be eaten with chips or vegetables as a dip on its own.
Cauliflower “Steaks” with Avocado-Tomatillo Salsa recipe from cooking with cocktail rings

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Cauliflower “Steaks” with Avocado-Tomatillo Salsa recipe from cooking with cocktail rings
Cauliflower “Steaks” with Avocado-Tomatillo Salsa recipe from cooking with cocktail rings

Spiced Cauliflower “Steaks” with Avocado-Tomatillo Salsa

Print Pin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

Avocado-Tomatillo Salsa:

  • 5 medium tomatillos husked, rinsed and halved
  • 1 medium California Avocado, Haas variety, pitted, peeled and sliced
  • 1 medium jalapeño, roughly chopped
  • ½ medium yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ packed cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Spiced Cauliflower “steaks”:

  • 2 medium heads cauliflower
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon roasted coriander
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne

Instructions:

Avocado-Tomatillo Salsa:

  • Heat oven to broil on high. Add tomatillos to a baking sheet cut side down and broil (keeping an eye on them) until slightly charred, about 6 minutes. Add the roasted tomatillos to a blender with the avocado, jalapeño, onion, garlic and cilantro. Pulse until smooth and season to taste with salt. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week.

For the Spiced Cauliflower “steaks”:

  • Heat oven to 400ºF.
  • Remove the tough outer leaves from the heads of cauliflower and trim the stems. Rest each of the heads of cauliflower on the stem and cut in half. Cut off the outer rounded edge from each half so that you are left with 4 total 1½-inch thick “steaks”. Reserve the remaining cauliflower florets for another use.
  • Stir together the chili powder, coriander, salt, pepper and cayenne. Rub the cauliflower with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil then season the cauliflower steaks on both sides. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, add the remaining tablespoon of the olive oil and heat through.
  • Working in batches (depending on the size of the pan), cook the cauliflower until golden-brown, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining olive oil then flip the steaks and continue to cook until the second side is golden-brown, about 3 minutes. Repeat with remaining cauliflower and olive oil.
  • Add to an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet and roast until completely tender, about 10 minutes.

For serving:

  • Spoon some of the salsa on a plate and use the back of a spoon to create a swoop. Place one of the steaks on top of it and repeat with the remaining salsa and steaks.

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