Vegan Cauliflower Steak with Basil Oil


Special Diet Notes: Vegan Cauliflower Steak

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, vegetarian, and top food allergy-friendly.

Vegan Cauliflower "Steak" with Quinoa
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe was created by New York City chef Dan Barber, who was this year named to the James Beard Foundation's who's who list, and is featured in the cookbook Great Chefs Cook Vegan (Gibbs Smith 2008)
Serves: 4 servings
Basil Oil:
  • 2 cups well-washed basil leaves
  • 1 cup grapeseed oil, chilled
  • 2 large heads cauliflower, cut into 1-inch-thick “steaks”
  • Olive oil for coating and sauting
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1-1/2 cups vegetable stock, divided
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 1 leek, rinsed and sliced (white part only)
  • 1 small apple, peeled and diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ cup zucchini in ¼-inch dice
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
  1. To make the basil oil, blanch the basil in boiling water (1 minute) and then shock in ice water; dry leaves well. In a blender, puree the basil and grapeseed oil; strain to get rid of any large leaf pieces and set aside.
  2. At the largest part of each cauliflower head, cut two 1-inch-thick slices, or “steaks.” Reserve the remaining cauliflower.
  3. In a large saute pan coated with olive oil, brown the cauliflower steaks until golden brown on each side. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  4. Over medium-low heat, saute the quinoa in 1 tablespoon olive oil until a nutty aroma is achieved. Turn down the heat and add 1 cup of stock; simmer until almost dry. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
  5. Cut the remaining cauliflower into small florets and blanch in salted water until tender. Drain and spread florets on a baking sheet and place in a 300-degree oven for about 15 minutes, or until florets have dried.
  6. In a saute pan, gently cook the shallots, leek, apple and garlic over medium-low heat until tender.
  7. Add the cauliflower florets and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Remove from heat, place in blender, and puree. (You will only need a few teaspoons for this recipe. The remaining puree can be frozen or thinned with stock for a cauliflower soup.)
  9. In a large saute pan coated with oil, saute the zucchini until slightly golden brown.
  10. Add the cooked quinoa and remaining vegetable stock. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Add 2 teaspoons cauliflower puree to thicken, add thyme and chives, and drizzle with basil oil.
  12. On each of 4 plates, place a cauliflower steak on bed of quinoa-and-zucchini mixture and drizzle the basil oil around the plate.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


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