Cauliflower Steak

By Ippolita Douglas Scotti:

It’s very chilly in Florence; time for winter vegetables. This morning at the farmer’s market, there were beautiful fresh cauliflowers, and I’ve been wanting to try something new with the glorious veggie because boiled cauliflower is good but very boring. I've decided to elevate this veggie to make a delicious steak!

Cauliflower is very common in Italy, especially in the central-southern regions such as Campania, Marche, Tuscany, Lazio, Puglia, and Sicily. However, its origin

is rather uncertain. The name derives from the Latin

caulis ("cabbage") and floris ("flower"), and it seems that Tuscany was the first place where it was

cultivated. You can see some Medici paintings

of the early eighteenth century in the Medici Villa la Topaia in Florence where a cauliflower from the

Arezzo area is portrayed as a gift to Cosimo III.

You can also find cauliflower in India, where it is

called gobi, in China, and of course in France and the United States.


This cauliflower recipe is light and healthy, and if you want to surprise your vegan guests with something delicious, you have to try it. So very simple and delicious!

Cauliflower Steaks


1 medium cauliflower

1 small black cabbage

1/3 cup (50 grams) pine nuts

1 clove of garlic

1/3 cup (50 grams) Parmigiano Reggiano

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

1/3 cup (50 grams) Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 tablespoon of water

Pinch of salt


Heat a large skillet until nice and hot.


Make the pesto:

Put cabbage leaves, olive oil, garlic, parmesan, salt and lemon in the blender. Add the pine nuts, a drop of water, and blend roughly. Set aside.


Cut the cauliflower in half, from top to bottom. Slice each half into two more halves, approximately 1/2" thick—you can use the rest of the cauliflower for another recipe. Brush both sides of each "steak" with olive oil. Place slices in the hot pan and cook until they achieve a nice grilled look. Turn and cook on the other side.


Dollop and spread a couple of tablespoons of pesto on two plates. Place the slices of cauliflower on top. Enjoy!

Contessa Ippolita Douglas Scotti di Vigileno is a true Italian—born in Florence, Italy, from a long line of eccentric Italian aristocrats, she has traveled the world in search of adventure, romance, and magical, mouth-watering recipes. "Ippo" loves Italian history, especially as it relates to food. Author of There's a Beatle in My Soup, Curcuma e Zenzero (Ginger & Tumeric), 101 Perche Sulla Storia di Firenze (101 questions on Florence History), and Superfoods, Ippo is currently finishing her latest work, The Lords of Florence (all published by Newton Compton Publishers).

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