The Perfect “His and Hers” Steak Dinner

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Cauliflower steaks, dry rubbed with chipotle spice, topped with a kale pesto and browned butter breadcrumbs, and laid over a citrus salad.

There are challenges to shifting your eating patterns if you’re the only one in your family making that shift. This time last year, I was trying to be 100% vegetarian, while Myles patiently stayed on the sidelines waiting for me to come to my senses. Initially, he was open to all the kale and whole grains that started showing up on the table; but over time, not so much. Cooking became a chore, as I slogged through making two different dinners every night. I had to find a smarter way.

One solution is to compose a one-dish vegetarian meal incorporating components that can be made ahead, and used for both our dinners. This dish is a perfect example of how this can work.

Cauliflower steak over citrus salad with kale pesto, vegetarian main dish

I’ve been noticing cauliflower steaks everywhere since I saw a recipe for them in the January 2012 Bon Appetit issue. They’re the perfect size and shape for a ‘steak’, and just like the beefsteak on Myles’ plate, accept rubs and can be cooked in a number of ways. In short, cauliflower and beef make the perfect his and hers steaks.

For my first venture with this idea, I pulled out a jar of my favorite rub – perfect for both meat AND vegetables, seared the two steaks, and then finished them in the oven. I pulled some Kale Pesto and Browned Butter Breadcrumbs from the refrigerator, and threw together the Citrus Salad. In the end, this dinner came together in about 30 minutes! Score one for the Home Team. Here’s why it worked:

  • I used the same cooking method for both the cauliflower and beefsteak.
  • My ingredient heros were the Spicy Rub, Kale Pesto, and Browned Butter Breadcrumbs, because they were perfect for both the cauliflower and beef.
  • The citrus salad is a great bed for the cauliflower and a nice side salad for the beef.

Cauliflower Steak over a Citrus Salad

     by Susan Pridmore


Cauliflower Steaks

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Chipotle Spice Rub
  • 2 tablespoons Kale Pesto (recipe below)
  • 2 tablespoons Browned Butter Breadcrumbs

Kale Pesto

  • 10 small kale leaves
  • ½ serrano pepper, seeded, chopped
  • 6 to 8 garlic cloves
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano
  • 3 tablespoon grated Pecorino cheese
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or enough to get the consistency you prefer

Citrus Salad

  • 2 oranges (or 1 tangerine, 1 orange)
  • 1/2 shallot, minced
  • handful kalamata olives, halved
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chipotle Spice Rub


Make the Kale Pesto: Remove the central tough stem from each leaf, and stack the leaves and thinly slice.Throw into the food processor along with the other ingredients except the olive oil. Process until finely chopped.Drizzle the olive oil into the processor bowl, while running the food processor, until you get the consistency you prefer.

If storing, pour into a jar and cover with more olive oil. It can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Make the Chipotle Spice Rub and Brown Butter Breadcrumbs, and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Slice the cauliflower head in half through the central stalk. Slice each half into two halves. You should have 4 thick cauliflower slabs. Some florets will crumble off the slabs towards the ends. Don’t throw them out.

Rub both the slabs and florets with olive oil and the Chipotle Spice Rub.

Heat some olive oil in a sautè pan over medium-high heat, and sear the cauliflower slabs until slightly crisped – about 3 minutes per side.

Place on a baking sheet along with the florets, and roast until tender, about 15 minutes.

Make the Citrus Salad: Combine the citrus, shallot, olives and the roasted cauliflower florets in a small bowl.

Make the dressing by whisking together the vinegar and spice rub together. Drizzle in the olive oil as you continue to whisk. Toss with the citrus salad.

To Serve: spoon the citrus salad onto a serving plate. Lay the cauliflower steaks over the salad. Spread the kale pesto over the steaks, and sprinkle on the breadcrumbs.

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  • And now for the latest Liebster Blog Awards!!!

Last week I was really excited and honored to receive a Liebster Blog award from Linda  over at Lapadia’s Kitchen. I’ve known Linda through FOOD52 for a few years now, and have been a huge fun of her baking. She’s got some of the best bread recipes I’ve ever made. So, a huge shout-out to her!!

Liebster is German and translates to “dearest” or “favorite”, and this award is meant for up-and-coming blogs with less than 200 followers.

There are a few rules around this award:

  • Copy and paste the award on your blog. Link back to the blogger who gave you the award in a post where you award the leibster to your favorites.
  • Pick your five favorite blogs with less than 200 followers who deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog to let them know they have received the award.
  • Hope that the five blogs chosen will keep spreading the love and pass it on to five more blogs.

And now it is my turn to bestow the award on my 5 favorite new blogs! Yay! The word ‘liebster’ applies to them perfectly – go check out their lovely blogs, along with Linda’s.



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  1. says

    I am so impressed that you continue to make two dinners every night! I’m almost positive I would either give up vegetarianism or only cook vegetarian and leave my husband to fend for himself… But it looks like you’ve come up with an excellent solution! Kale pesto sounds incredible. I’ve also been intrigued by the cauliflower “steak” recipes I’ve been seeing. This looks absolutely delicious!

    • says

      Thanks so much Katherine!! There are a lot of nights now, quite honestly, where I just cook Myles and steak or pork, etc and a salad. And he usually takes a little of my vegetarian dinner. It all works, but I’m still trying to figure out easy ways I can accommodate both of us while giving BOTH of us a meal we’re both excited about. Sigh.

  2. says

    Thanks so much Susan!You made my day :) I feel really honored to be receiving this award from you, with such a vast experience and an array of great recipes in your repertoire!I’m overjoyed :)Have a great Sunday!

  3. says

    Oh, you are SO sweet! Thanks so much for awarding me the Liebster :)

    I’d choose your delicious cauliflower steak over beef, but hubby and my sons would want their meat, too :)

  4. says

    Thank you so much for the award-I’m truly honored to be one of your recipients, and love all your other choices as well! I’ve really enjoyed your posts and recipes, and this cauliflower steak is no exception-great idea, especially with the kale pesto which sounds amazing! Looking forward to more delicious vegetarian recipes!

  5. Bevi says

    I adore cauliflower steak. I had a wonderful version with crumbled kale chips that added great extra crunch. You pesto sounds delicious>


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