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Eating Vegan with Earth & Oven: Vegan Cauliflower Steaks

A good cauliflower steak will have a crisp, caramelized exterior and a tender interior.

By America's Test Kitchen | April 28, 2017

Let America’s Test Kitchen introduce you to a delicious world of interesting textures and fresh flavors that make cooking vegan accessible to all. We’ve published our first vegan cookbook, Vegan for Everybody, that suits the needs of everyone—whether you’re a strict vegan or not. In doing so, we developed recipes (with no animal products—period) that wowed us in terms of flavor and texture, showing that veganism isn’t about making sacrifices or substitutions, but about celebrating a new way to eat.


 

Our favorite thing about plant-based cooking is that it allows us to reimagine what we put in the center of our plates. Case in point: cauliflower steaks. Meredith of Earth & Oven recently cooked up our Vegan Cauliflower Steaks with Salsa Verde after reading through a copy of our newest release, Vegan for Everybody.

Vegan For Everybody is jammed with stunning pictures, tried and tested cooking methods, how-to’s, inspiration, and—best of all—vegan kitchen hacks to give you a leg up in the kitchen," writes Meredith. 

To elevate the cauliflower steak to centerpiece status, we paired it with a vibrant Italian-style salsa verde.

“The recipe immediately caught my eye balls as a must-make,” writes Meredith. "Cauliflower steaks are one of the most versatile veggie sides or mains—and I had yet to master them!”

When you cook thick planks of cauliflower, they develop a substantial, meaty texture and become nutty, sweet, and caramelized. Recipes for cauliflower steaks abound, but many of them involve fussy transitions between stovetop and oven.

This recipe calls for a rimmed baking sheet and a scorching oven to produce four perfectly cooked cauliflower steaks simultaneously. We steam the cauliflower briefly by covering the baking sheet with foil, followed by roasting uncovered on high-heat on the lowest oven rack to produce seared, caramelized steaks with tender interiors.

We brushed the hot steaks with the salsa verde so they'd soak up its robust flavor.

“The perfect cauliflower steak is tender to the bite, with crisp, golden brown florets,” writes Meredith. “This recipe by America’s Test Kitchen nails down the how and the why of this quintessential cauli recipe.”

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VEGAN FOR EVERYBODY

Veganism is going mainstream. The benefits of consuming fewer animal products appear frequently in the news. But eating vegan can seem overwhelming: Will it be flavorful? Satisfying? Easy to make? In Vegan for Everybody, the test kitchen addresses head-on what gives people pause—finding great and filling vegan protein options, cooking without dairy, preparing different whole grains and vegetables, and even baking.

 

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