Cauliflower is a vegetable that I love, especially roasted. It’s so simple and satisfying and can work with so many flavors to make a great meal. One of my go-to dinners in the past used to be roasted cauliflower and chickpeas with cumin. But it’s something that I haven’t made in a while because, well, my husband is not a fan of cauliflower. At all. It’s one of those foods where I thought, he just hasn’t had it prepared well. Surely, if I make it for him, all deliciously roasted with lots of yummy spices, then he’s definitely going to love it and start eating it all the time. But no, he still refuses to eat it. And that’s fine I guess — more for me !
I had never made a cauliflower steak before this, but I’ve always been intrigued. Basically, all you do is slice a cauliflower down the middle and roast it, which ends up looking very fancy for something that is so simple.
I added lentils to this dish as I’ve been experimenting with more interesting ways to cook them. Lentils haves delicious potential, but can be rather bland and boring if not prepared well. By incorporating some French classics like shallots, herbes de Provence, and even carrots, this humble (and inexpensive!) meal is elevated to sophistication.
This recipe is simple enough to throw together on a week night, but the presentation is impressive enough to make next time you have friends over for a plant-based dinner party.
If you like the recipe, try it, or have any questions, then let me know what you think down in the comments below ! Thank you for all your interest and support !
(Makes 2-3 servings, but can easily be scaled up)
- 1 head of cauliflower (the size of the cauliflower will vary, mine was pretty small and woulds be good for 2 servings)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- Salt, to taste
- 4-6 medium carrots
- 2-3 tablespoons plant-based milk (I used oat milk)
- 2/3 cup dry lentils
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 shallot
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp herbes de Provence (or a mix of thyme, basil, and rosemary)
- Preheat the oven to 190°C or 375°F.
- Prep your cauliflower by removing the leaves and rinsing it. Place your cauliflower on a cutting board stem side down and slice it all the way through, marking slices about 3/4 to 1 inch thick (about 2cm).
- Gently move the slices to a sheet pan and drizzle on one teaspoon of the olive oil. Evenly sprinkle on the paprika, cumin, and salt. Place the sheet pan in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes, or until the cauliflower softens and browns a bit.
- In the meantime, prepare the carrots by peeling them, removing the ends, and slicing them into slices (you don’t need to be too precise here, though smaller slices will steam faster).
- Steam the carrots either on the stove top (with a steamer basket in a pot) or in the microwave (if you have a microwave steamer) for about 10-15 minutes, or until the carrots can easily be pierced through with a fork.
- While the carrots are steaming, place the lentils in a medium pot along with 1 1/3 cup water and the bay leaf. Cook over medium high heat for about 20 minutes until the water is absorbed (check on them every now and then, if the water is absorbed and the pan is dry, the lentils in the bottom will burn. Trust me, been there).
- Chop the shallots and garlic and set aside.
- Once the carrots are steamed, place in a bowl along with the plant milk and some salt and use an immersion blender to create a thick purée. Alternatively, this could be done in a blender or food processor, you’ll just want to be sure the carrots have cooled a bit in that case.
- When the lentils are cooked, remove them from the pot and set aside in a bowl (and be sure to remove the bay leaf). In the same pot, add the shallots and garlic with the second teaspoon of olive oil and cook over medium heat until fragrant and softened, about 10 minutes. Add the lentils back in, as well as a sprinkle of salt and the herbes de Provence. Stir to combine.
- As soon as the cauliflower steaks are cooked, remove from the oven.
- To serve, place some of the lentils on a plate and top with the carrot purée. Add the cauliflower steak on top and enjoy!