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Harissa-Glazed Cauliflower Steak

Glazed and gorgeous.

Harissa-glazed cauliflower steak drizzled with yogurt and topped with mint, dill, and toasted pine nuts.

I love cauliflower any which way, but I have a special place in my heart for these harissa-glazed steaks. Slathered in a sticky sweet and spicy glaze, drizzled with tangy yogurt, and topped with a confetti of mint, dill, and roasted pine nuts, these steaks promise to perk up any meatless Monday.

Roasted cauliflower steak on a sheet pan.

Originating in North Africa, harissa is a spicy sauce made with chili peppers, garlic, oil, and various spices. While you can make it from scratch, it’s definitely a project; and with so many great ready-made varieties available now, I recommend buying it. Look for products labeled sauce rather than paste, and keep in mind that the spice level varies by brand, so you might need to use more or less honey to the glaze to balance the heat. Start with the full 1/3 cup harissa called for and 3 tablespoons honey, and then add more honey as needed.

When cutting cauliflower into steaks, you inevitably end up with lots of bits and pieces from the ends of the cauliflower. Don’t throw these away! Toss them in a little more olive oil and salt and roast them on a separate tray after you’ve finished roasting the steaks. You can even drizzle them with some of the leftover glaze, if you like. Or you can turn them into creamy cauliflower dip to serve with crackers!

These roasted cauliflower steaks were inspired by a dish I learned while working at abcV: Chef Neal Harden’s pine nut dip with harissa. There’s no cauliflower anywhere near it, but the flavor combinations there were my starting point. Just like any cook, I’m an amalgamation of everything I’ve learned from all the great chefs I’ve been privileged to work for. Chef Neal, thank you!



Harissa-Glazed Cauliflower Steaks

(Makes 4)

Harissa-glazed cauliflower steak drizzled with yogurt and topped with mint, dill, and toasted pine nuts.

1 large head cauliflower

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 ¼ tsp. Diamond Crystal kosher salt, divided

6 tbsp. freshly-squeezed lemon juice, divided

1/3 cup harissa

1/3 cup honey

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

½ cup plain whole milk yogurt

2 tbsp. fresh dill, torn

2 tbsp. fresh mint, torn

2 tbsp. pine nuts, toasted

Special equipment: large metal baking sheet, small pot


Preheat oven to 425° F, rack in the middle position.

Place cauliflower on a cutting board, stem down, then carefully slice cauliflower into ½” thick steaks. (The end pieces which aren’t connected to the core will fall apart, which is fine. You should still have 3-4 center steaks which do hold together.)

Cauliflower steak on a metal sheet pan.

Arrange whole cauliflower steaks on an unlined metal baking sheet and brush on both sides with olive oil. (Reserve end bits of cauliflower for another use, or toss in more olive oil and roast on another sheet pan, separately.) Sprinkle steaks evenly with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Roast, undisturbed, until deeply golden brown on the bottom and tender, 18-23 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small pot, whisk together 4 tablespoons lemon juice, harissa, honey, and garlic. Place over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Boil, stirring occasionally, until reduced and slightly thickened, 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat; taste and season with ¼ teaspoon as needed. Set aside.

Harissa glaze in a pot on the stove.

In another small bowl, stir together yogurt, remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Set aside.

Remove cauliflower from oven and carefully flip each steak so browned side faces up. Brush tops of steaks with glaze.

Preheat broiler to high. Broil glazed steaks until bubbling and caramelized, watching closely, 2-3 minutes.

Serve drizzled with yogurt sauce, topped with mint, dill, and toasted pine nuts.

Harissa-glazed cauliflower steak drizzled with yogurt and topped with mint, dill, and toasted pine nuts on top of couscous on a plate.

Originally posted January 27, 2024.

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