Cauliflower absorbs all that luscious marinade while still retaining some necessary bite. [photo Nassima Rothacker/Kyle Books]

Jerk-style cauliflower steaks

16 May, 2017

If you are new to veggie food it may surprise you to learn that going veggie doesn’t mean you have to skimp on taste.

If going completely veggie seems a bit overwhelming to you, why not try going at least one day a week without meat – as our friends at Meat Free Monday recommend.

Meat Free Monday is a UK campaign founded by Paul, Stella and Mary McCartney and their website is full of great recipes from the McCartney family, celebrities and big name chefs as well as supporters. Its campaigns have made reducing the amount of meat you eat inclusive, chic and fun.

This recipe is from blogger, actress and vegan chef Áine Carlin. It serves 4 and is ready in under an hour.

According to Áine:

“I love experimenting with spices and injecting a lot of flavour into ingredients that have very little. Cauliflower is one such vegetable, subtle enough to absorb all that luscious marinade while still retaining some necessary bite. Steaming the ‘steaks’ when they first go in the oven ensures the spices seep into every crevice but crucially, it is their griddle pan finish that adds that necessary finesse to the dish. Serve alongside some Jollof Rice for a double spice hit or go simple with a dressed green salad for a delicious midweek meal. These steaks also work well served with herbed bulgur wheat and wilted spinach.”

This recipe serves 4 and is ready in under an hour.


For the cauliflower steaks

  • 1 medium cauliflower

For the marinade

  • 35 g fresh coriander
  • thumb-size piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 scotch bonnet
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • juice of ½ lime
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1 Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.

2 Place all the marinade ingredients into a food processor or mini blender and blitz until coarse but spreadable.

3 Remove the leaves from around the cauliflower, but don’t remove the bulb at the bottom, as this is what will keep your steaks intact. Halve the cauliflower and, working from the cut side out, slice each steak around 1½ cm thick … you will probably only get two full steaks from each half but you can roast the remaining florets in the same way.

4 Generously brush the steaks with the marinade. If you want to do this ahead of time, you can leave them to marinate in the fridge until you need them.

5 Place the steaks on a roasting tray and loosely cover with foil. Roast for 15–20 minutes before removing the foil for a further 10 minutes, turning once.

6 Heat a griddle pan to a medium-high heat and finish the steaks off in the pan to mark/sear on both sides. Serve with your chosen accompaniment.