I recently bought a present for myself.

A couple weeks ago, I had about 30 seconds of free time (a miracle!). I was browsing Instagram, as one does, and came across a Food52 post. Next thing I know I had adopted an olive tree in Italy and now had a years supply of olive oil coming my way.

Grilled Cauliflower Steaks Smothered in Pesto | Things I Made Today

I had a moment of buyer’s remorse for spending so much money, but after confirming with a few friends that this was, in fact, a good investment, I decided that I’ve spent money on things far less worthwhile things in the past. Plus this was going to be delicious.

Grilled Cauliflower Steaks Smothered in Pesto | Things I Made Today

When my first delivery arrived a few weeks later, I was instantly smitten. It’s amazing what beautiful packaging can do—the box, the ceramic bottle—all of it instantly made me giddy. And when I got that first taste of the oil—well, let’s just say I ate bread dipped in it for dinner.

Grilled Cauliflower Steaks Smothered in Pesto | Things I Made Today

Since then, I’ve been obsessing with making as many things as possible that let the olive oil shine. This pesto smothered cauliflower is a perfect example. Fresh pesto, while always delicious, gets such a boost in flavor from this olive oil.

Grilled Cauliflower Steaks Smothered in Pesto | Things I Made Today

And of course you can toss pasta in the pesto, but if you want something different, try smothering a piece of grilled cauliflower with it. The nuttiness of the pesto combined with the lightly charred cauliflower is truly something beautiful.

Grilled Cauliflower Steaks Smothered in Pesto | Things I Made Today

A note on this recipe: be mindful of how you cut the cauliflower! You really need to keep a good 3/4 inch thickness in order for the cauliflower to not fall apart on the grill, so make sure you get a good size cauliflower to start. And while the steaks look beautiful, the small florets that fall off can be grilled as well, and taste just as good. So if you’re not having any luck slicing the cauliflower into steaks, don’t fret. Throw the florets in a basket and put it on the grill anyways!

Grilled Cauliflower Steaks Smothered in Pesto
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
For the pesto:
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup fresh basil, tightly packed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup walnuts, chopped
  • ¼ cup Parmesan, grated
  • ¼-1/2 cup high-quality extra virgin olive oil
For the cauliflower:
  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
To make the pesto:
  1. In a food processor, combine garlic, basil, lemon juice, salt, walnuts, and Parmesan. Pulse until mixture is finely chopped, scraping down sides as needed. With the food processor running, slowly add olive oil. Start with ¼ cup and if pesto is too thick, add additional olive oil, 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Adjust seasoning to taste.
To make the cauliflower:
  1. Remove the leaves from the cauliflower, leaving stem intact. Place the cauliflower on a cutting board with the core side up. Cut the cauliflower in half, exactly down the center of the core. Make another cut about ¾ inches from the midline on each half, leaving you with two steaks and some loose florets.
  2. Generously brush both sides of the cauliflower steaks with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Toss loose florets with olive oil and salt as well and place them in a grill basket.
  3. Prepare grill for medium-high heat. Place cauliflower steaks and grill basket on the grill and cook for about 8-12 minutes per side, checking occasionally. Cauliflower should be charred in spots and the core should be tender. Remove from heat.
  4. Smother cauliflower with pesto and serve immediately.

One Comment

  • 05 / 23 / 16 / 2:50 pm

    Wonderful recipe! I love cauliflower and was looking for some good cauliflower recipes and here i found one! Thanks for sharing it :)

    writes HafsaReply

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