Recipe of the Week | Cauliflower Steaks (chipotle)

Cauliflower Steaks | Photo Credit Randolph Graham

I know! Cauliflower steaks? How can that be?

I grew up in a family that would have said there could be no such thing. “Steaks is meat,” as my Dad might have said. He would have been correct (even if his grammar was not) because I cannot find a dictionary that does not define the word steak without including the word meat. For example, the New Oxford American Dictionary defines the word steak as follows:

Steak | stāk | noun high-quality beef taken from the hindquarters of the animal, typically cut into thick slices that are cooked by broiling or frying: he liked his steak rare. Poorer-quality beef that is cubed or ground and cooked more slowly by braising or stewing. ORIGIN Middle English: from Old Norse steik; related to steikja ‘roast on a spit’ and stikna ‘be roasted’.

Maybe the word steak, as applied to vegetables, infers a meaty consistency. If so, then, yeah, there really are “cauliflower steaks”. Need proof? Give this spicy vegan side dish a try. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. I know I was.


2 large heads cauliflower

¼ cup olive oil

2 limes (juiced and zested)

2 cloves garlic (minced)

1 teaspoon agave nectar

2 tablespoons paprika

1 tablespoon chipotle powder

½ teaspoon salt

¼ cup finely chopped cilantro (garnish)

Lime wedges (as a condiment)



Preheat grill to medium-high heat (about 450 degrees).

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 1-inch thick “steaks.” Set aside.

Wisk the next seven ingredients together (olive oil through salt) in a small bowl. Cover and set aside.

Brush one side of each cauliflower steak with the chipotle-oil mixture. Place  seasoned side down on the hot grill. Brush the tops with additional chipotle-oil. Cover the grill and cook for five to six minutes. Open the cover and carefully flip the cauliflower. Cook, covered, for an additional 6 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve with lime wedges on the side.

Tip: Serve at room temperature for best flavor.

Chef Randy’s latest book: Ojai Valley Make Ahead Cookbook on Sale at AMAZON

For additional recipes, see Chef Randy’s website at

Chef Randy has been a vegetarian for over 40 years and eats local and organic grain, fresh fruit, and vegetables as much as possible. He is known locally as the “Healthy Chef.” His column, Chef Randy, is syndicated in California newspapers. See his website at for more recipes.

Visit his author’s page on Amazon for culinary inspiration!  

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