Cauliflower Steaks with Zahter

Cauliflower Steaks with Zahter

From Ottolenghi


2 large cauliflowers, trimmed and leaves discarded

5 tbsp unsalted butter

2 sprigs of sage 

8 strips of finely shaved lemon skin 

1½ tbsp tahini

1 tbsp lemon juice 

3 tbsp olive oil 

1 onion, finely chopped 

1 tbsp cider vinegar 

1 tsp honey 

3 tbsp zahter, drained from its oil (or 3 tablespoons of picked oregano leaves) 

1/4 cup baby capers, pat dried 

1/5 tbsp coriander, roughly chopped 


Preheat the oven to 190C.

Sit the cauliflowers upright on your chopping board and cut two thick slices out of the centre of each cauliflower. You want the four slices – or ‘steaks’ – to remain held together at the base and each be about 4 centimetres thick. You should have about 400 grams of trimmings. Break these into even-sized pieces (if making the mash) and set aside.

Add all of the butter to a large frying pan (or half the butter to two medium frying pans, if your large one is not able to fit in all four steaks) and place on a medium heat with the sage, lemon skin and ¾ teaspoon salt (or half in each pan, if using two). Once the butter starts to foam, add the cauliflower steaks, turning them in the pan so that they get covered in salt and butter on both sides. Fry gently for about 8 minutes, until golden-brown underneath and then flip the steaks over. Fry for another 8 minutes, until nearly cooked, and then transfer to a parchment-lined tray. Bake for 10 minutes, until the cauliflower is cooked through. Keep somewhere warm until ready to serve.

If making the mash, fill a medium saucepan with plenty of salted water and place on a high heat. Once boiling, add the cauliflower trimmings and boil for 15 minutes, until the cauliflower is really soft. Drain and then place in a food processor with the tahini, lemon juice, 2 tablespoon of water and a 1/8th of salt. Blitz to combine, using a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl, and then keep somewhere warm until ready to serve. Add 1½ tablespoons of oil to a medium frying pan (or 2½ tablespoons, if you are using the oregano leaves) and place on a medium-high heat. Add the onion and fry for 8 minutes until soft and caramelised. Add the vinegar and honey, stir through for a minute and then add the zahter (or oregano), along with a pinch of salt. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Add the remaining 1½ tablespoons of oil to a small saucepan and place on a high heat. Once hot, add the capers and fry for about a minute, until the capers have opened out and are crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove from the oil and set aside on a kitchen paper-lined plate.

When you are ready to serve, spoon about 2 tablespoons of the cauliflower and tahini mash onto each plate (if you have made it) and spread out into a thin layer, not much larger than the cauliflower steaks. Place the cauliflower steaks on top and then spoon over the onion and zahter (or oregano) salsa. Finish with a sprinkle of the crispy capers, along with the coriander, and serve.