The Flipping Tip You Need For Cauliflower Steaks

roasted cauliflower steak on a parchment lined baking sheet
roasted cauliflower steak on a parchment lined baking sheet - Olga Miltsova/Shutterstock

Whether you're a vegan or a veggie lover, cauliflower steaks are an impressive and delicious centerpiece. Not only is cauliflower's mild flavor a blank slate for seasonings, but the thick cuts of its midsection also offer a satisfying texture that is both hearty and tender. While raw cauliflower is hard and sturdy, it doesn't remain that way as it cooks. Consequently, flipping a cauliflower steak midway through its sear, roast, or grill is a lot trickier than its red meat counterpart.

While many recipes opt for grill tongs to flip a cauliflower steak, even the gentlest and quickest turn is likely to result in the florets detaching from the core. The best way to keep a cauliflower steak intact when you flip it is to sandwich it between two large spatulas. You'll essentially create a makeshift grill basket. Simply slide the first spatula under the steak while you place the second spatula over the entire top surface.

The steak will be completely immobilized by the pressure of the two spatulas, allowing you to flip it without slamming it back down on the cooking surface. Instead, the top spatula becomes the bottom spatula, and you can simply slide the steak back onto its cooking surface. It's the same concept as the plate trick to flip a tortilla española (Spanish tortilla), but with less mess and less margin for error.

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An Intact Cauliflower Starts With The Cutting

brushing seasoning over cauliflower steak
brushing seasoning over cauliflower steak - Maren Winter/Shutterstock

While this flipping tip will lessen the likelihood of a disarticulated cauliflower steak, the key to a sturdy slice starts with a solid cutting technique. Cauliflower is dome-shaped, so if you want similar-sized steaks, you should only expect between two and three steaks per head of cauliflower. Aim for 1-inch thick slices to ensure your steaks are perfectly sized. The proper technique to slice cauliflower heads starts with removing the leaves and cutting off the nubby stalk they're attached to.

Then, cut the cauliflower head down the middle to separate it into even halves. You'll then have a flat midsection to work with, which makes it easier to slice even steaks from the middle. You can still use the smaller chunks of florets left over; try roasting them cut-side down on the edges of the baking sheet so they get nice and crispy.

While cauliflower may not have the same taste or texture as meat, the steaks are substantial enough to be a meat substitute. You can blend steak seasoning with olive oil and brush it onto the steak to create a similar umami-rich profile. You can also accentuate a roasted cauliflower's nuttiness and caramelization with more flavorful spices like curry, cumin, paprika, and chili powder. Another way to play up their main dish role is to smother cauliflower steaks with a complementary sauce, like chimichurri, romesco sauce, or a creamy blue cheese dressing.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.