cauliflower steaks roasted in lemon balm pesto - vegan & gluten-free

Cauliflower Steaks Roasted in Lemon Balm Pesto

Veggies on veggies on veggies! This is an incredibly easy and enormously delicious use for any type of pesto really. For when the garden greens are poppin’ and the abundance is a little more than you can handle, pesto is always a good choice. Then slap it on some fancy cauliflower steaks, roast to golden perfection, and you have yourself the perfect culinary creation that can triple task as a main course, side dish, or a spectacular snack. These cauliflower steaks roasted in lemon balm & kale pesto are vegan, gluten-free, healthy, and ripe with plant medicine.

For me, the hardest thing about this recipe is remembering that you have to cut the cauliflower into steaks, not bite-sized pieces. I’ve cut a lot of cauliflower in my days, probably hundreds of heads, and I don’t think I’ve once ever cut it into steaks. So when I went to slice into this beautiful head of cauliflower, my muscle memory took over and into bite-size pieces it went. I ended up with two measly cauliflower steaks, Do as I say, not as I do. 🙂

food as medicine

Cauliflower is a member of the Brassicaceae plant family. This family, often referred to as the brassicas or the cruciferous vegetables, also houses kale, broccoli, collard greens, Brussels sprouts, and all the cabbages. And if there’s anything that’s completely rockstar about these vegetables, it’s the sulfur-containing compounds they possess in high quantities.

These sulfur-containing compounds, called glucosinolates, are well-studied and have been proven over and over again to be hugely beneficial to our health. Their incredible antioxidant capacity is supportive to our entire body, including our cardiovascular, digestive, immune, inflammatory, and natural detoxification systems. There’s a reason nearly everything is made out of cauliflower these days.

Take these powerfully healthy cauliflower steaks and rub some super medicinal pesto on them and you have yourself a bonafide super meal. To check out all the nutritional and medicinal goodness in this herbal pesto, check out the food as medicine table for Lemon Balm & Kale Pesto with Preserved Lemon.

CauliflowerExcellent source of
vitamin C, vitamin K, folate

Good source of choline, fiber,
omega-3 fats, manganese, phosphorus, & biotin

High in sulfur-containing compounds
that support our cardiovascular,
digestive, immune, inflammatory,
& detoxification systems
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cauliflower steaks roasted in lemon balm & kale pesto – vegan & gluten-free

Recipe by Botany CultureCourse: Main, SidesCuisine: Vegan, Gluten-FreeDifficulty: Easy
Prep time


Cooking time





This pesto-crusted cauliflower steak recipe is so simple to make and so versatile. It can serve as a vegan & gluten-free main dish, side dish, or even as an easy snack. While the lemon balm & kale pesto with preserved lemon is really the shining star of flavor in this recipe, any pesto will do.



  • Preheat oven to 415 F.
  • After washing, carefully remove all the leaves & any protruding stem from the cauliflower head. (Save these leaf & stem scraps for compost or your homemade veggie broth.)
  • Using a sharp knife, slice the cauliflower into 1-1 1/2″ thick slices. The remaining stem will serve to hold the steaks together. Depending on the size of your cauliflower, you should end up with approximately 3-5 steaks. (You’ll likely end up with some loose florets, save these to roast right along with the steaks.)
  • On a prepared sheet pan drizzled with olive oil, place the cauliflower steaks in a single layer.
  • Spread a generous amount of pesto over each cauliflower steak. Flip and then spread another generous amount of pesto on the other side.
  • Place cauliflower steaks in the oven and roast for about 12 minutes, flip, then continue to roast for another 12 minutes. Serve immediately.
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I hope you enjoy this so-flippin’-easy vegan and gluten-free veggie recipe. If you’re really struggling with the concept of cutting cauliflower into steaks, I don’t blame you. This wonderful post from Detoxinista has some lovely pictures, including some hot tips, for all you visual people! (I’m right there with you… show me the pictures!)

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