Step Up Your Father's Day Side Dish Game with Grilled Cauliflower Steaks

Cauliflower Steaks with Parsley
Photo: Marcus Nilsson

When juggling everything that comes along with summer entertaining—scoring those perfect medium well burgers, entertaining guests, and warding off hot weather inconveniences (like that swarm of mosquitoes nibbling on guests)—take the hassle out of summer get-togethers by whipping up a quick side dish. This exceptionally simple recipe turns the vegetable as you know it on its head while only requiring a few added flavors. While cauliflower is most often cut into florets for cooking purposes, this dish utilizes it in the form of steaks and incorporates the thick stem frequently discarded in most recipes. For a finishing touch, chef Michael Chiarello suggests using purple and gold cauliflower varieties and arranging on a plate of contrasting color for an extra pop.

Read on for Chef Michael Chiarello’s recipe.

Still hungry? Check our more of our mouth-watering grilling recipes:

Grilled Avocado and Mango Guacamole

Lime-Cilantro Slaw

Red Pepper Buttered Corn on the Cob

Garlicky Potato Salad

Cauliflower Steaks with Parsley

Serves: 6


2 medium heads cauliflower

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2 tbsp coarse sea salt

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 lemons

1 tbsp minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling


1. Turn a gas grill to high, or ignite charcoal. When grill is hot or the coals have begun to turn gray, place a plancha (a flat, heavy metal plate) or a cast iron skillet on the grill rack. (You can also skip both and carefully lay steaks directly on the grill). Heat for at least 10 minutes.

2. Keep the core and stalk in place until after you’ve sliced cauliflower. With a large knife, cut cauliflower head lengthwise into ½-inch-thick slices. Cut away the stalk (just the base of it) from the bottom of each slice.

3. Give each cauliflower steak a good smear of butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

4. Place cauliflower slabs on the hot plancha and cook until they show a caramalized crust (5-6 minutes).

5. While they cook, halve lemons and place cut-side down on the hot plancha or grill for 2 minutes. Remove lemons and set aside.

6. With a spatula, turn each cauliflower slab, and grill the other side until caramelized (about 5 minutes). When both slides are golden brown, transfer to a serving platter, drizzle with juice from grilled lemons, and garnish with parsley and Parmesan. Drizzle with olive oil, and serve while hot.

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