Roasted Cauliflower Steaks and Polenta
Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan Polenta
Prep Time
9 hrs 14 mins
Cook Time
9 hrs 14 mins
A gourmet, meatless meal that will blow your mind! It's hearty yet healthy and delicious!
Course: Main
Author: Chris Scheuer
  • For the cauliflower:
  • 1 large or 2 medium head cauliflower
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • For the panko crumbs:
  • ½ cup panko crumbs*
  • 2 teaspoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pinenuts*
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • finely grated zest from 1 medium lemon
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 medium size sundried tomato drained and finely chopped (optional)
  • For the polenta:
  • 5 cups low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup instant polenta I really like the Dellalo brand
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt more to taste
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 450°F. Drizzle a sheet pan with 1 tablespoons of olive oil. Set aside.
  2. For the panko crumbs (make it now so it will be ready after the cauliflower is roasted) melt butter till bubbly in a small sauté pan. Add pine nuts and stir continuously for about 1 minute, till nuts and butter turn a light, golden brown. Remove pan from heat, then remove pine nuts with a slotted spoon (you want most of the butter to remain in the pan) to a plate lined with a paper towel. Add garlic to butter in pan and return to medium low heat. Cook for 15-30 seconds or until fragrant. Add panko crumbs to the pan and stir to combine. Cook, stirring continuously for 1 minute to crisp crumbs. Remove from heat, Add lemon zest, parsley and finely chopped sundried tomato
  3. Remove any outer leaves from the cauliflower, but leave the stem intact. Place head stalk side down on a cutting board. Using a large chef's knife, slice cauliflower lengthwise into 3/4" slices. Some of the slices will crumble a bit into smaller pieces. That's okay. The center slices should remain pretty intact. Arrange cauliflower slices and any stray pieces in a single layer on prepared baking sheet, placing any stray pieces in the center of the pan. Drizzle with remaining oil and season with salt and pepper. Don't worry, at this point it will seem like you have way too much cauliflower but you'll be surprised at how much it shrinks during the roasting process.
  4. Roast until underside is deep golden brown, 15–25 minutes (start checking after 15 minutes). Turn cauliflower over, season with salt and pepper, and continue to roast until other side is deep golden brown and crisp, 15–20 minutes longer.
  5. While the cauliflower steaks are roasting, make the polenta. Bring broth to a boil in a medium large, tall pot. (When the polenta starts cooking it tends to bubble and splash so a tall pot keeps it from making a mess, but even more important, from burning you.) While the broth boils, slowly add polenta, stirring or whisking continuously to prevent lumps. Once all polenta has been incorporated, lower eat to a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered for 6-8 minutes. Add parmesan and salt and stir to incorporate. Polenta should be thick but spoonable. If it gets too thick, you can add a bit more chicken broth, to thin.
  6. To serve, spoon polenta into four shallow bowls. Arrange cauliflower steaks on top and sprinkle with panko mixture. Garnish with parsley and lemon slices. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Serves 4
* Panko crumbs are Japanese bread crumbs. They're different than normal bread crumbs you might make or buy because they have sharp, angular edges and they stay super crisp and crunchy. You can buy panko crumbs at most larger grocers. You'll generally find them in the Asian section. You can also find them online.
** Pine nuts are ridiculously expensive but you only need a few for this recipe and they add a delicious, gourmet touch. I like to buy them at Trader Joes. They're decently priced there at 6.99 for an 8-ounce bag which is about as cheap as I've found. I store them in the freezer and they last a long time as I use them with discretion. You can also buy pine nuts in bulk at Whole Foods, definitely more expensive but you can purchase as few or many as you need.