These grilled cauliflower steaks, served with a smoky eggplant spread and topped with a charred corn salsa, prove just how delicious a vegan meal made entirely on the grill can be!
This post is sponsored by The Home Depot. All opinions are my own.
Grilling season is upon us, people! When I’m hosting summer gatherings, I love to fire up the grill and make something unique and unexpected for my guests; something that goes beyond the typical burgers and dogs situation. We can do better than that, right guys?
Now that I follow a mostly plant-based diet, I especially enjoy inspiring others to use the grill for meatless recipes. Plus, seasonal produce takes on those char-grilled, smoky flavors so beautifully.
Today I want to help get you thinking outside the box with another meatless grilling recipe. I’ve shared similar recipes in the past, like this Grilled Mediterranean Flatbread, this Grilled Peach Bruschetta and my Ultimate Grillable Veggie Burgers, but these Grilled Cauliflower Steaks pack a punch of flavor thanks to bold seasonings and charred goodness. A smoky eggplant spread and grilled corn relish take these cauliflower steaks to heavenly heights.
With Memorial Day (aka the official kickoff to grilling season) right around the corner, I’m excited to partner with The Home Depot to let you know about all of their amazing deals on grills going on right now! The Home Depot has a wide variety of grills and grilling accessories, so you can be sure to find something that matches your tastes, skill level and budget. The Home Depot offers free delivery for online purchases and free assembly for in-store purchases. And in honor of the Memorial Day holiday, they are offering Red, White and Blue Savings on grills priced at $399 and up, plus free assembly AND free delivery when you purchase your grill in-store!
For this post they were kind enough to send me a Kingsford Lone Star Charcoal Grill along with Kingsford Charcoal Briquettes, a wonderful choice since they are made with 100% natural ingredients. We prefer the chimney starter method to get our coals going, which eliminates the need for any lighter fluid. We simply stuff some crumpled newspaper at the bottom of the chimney, then top it with the briquettes and light the paper. After about 15 minutes the coals are glowing with heat and ready to be scattered onto the bottom grate of the grill.
This Kingsford Lone Star Charcoal Grill is a breeze to use! Some of my favorite features include the two adjustable air vents located on either side intended to help with heat control, and the upper rack for keeping items warm.
I’m not going to lie, the front charcoal access door is pretty cool, too. It makes it super easy to add more briquettes or fiddle with the existing ones if you need to without disturbing any of the food on the grill. And the bottom tray that collects the ash is a game changer come clean up time! All this plus an incredibly affordable price tag makes this an ideal choice for a first-time grill purchase.
How to make grilled cauliflower steaks
Ok, let’s talk grilled cauliflower steaks. Be sure to cut them into nice thick slices so that they retain some firmness when grilling. I like to remove the outer leaves from a whole head of cauliflower, then cut it in half lengthwise. Then I’ll trim the outer edges away, resulting in two thick slices. If your head of cauliflower is on the larger side, you can probably get three slices out of one head.
Make sure to brush the steaks on both sides with a high heat oil suitable for grilling, such as avocado oil, which has a smoke point high enough to avoid toxins and trans fats in high heat cooking situations. You’ll also want to season the cauliflower steaks generously with salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika.
Why you’ll love this vegan grilled cauliflower recipe
- The cauliflower steaks develop a lovely blackened char on the grill, and their thicker texture makes them as hearty and satisfying as ever.
- I’ll be honest, these grilled cauliflower steaks wouldn’t be that exciting on their own, so pairing them with a smoky grilled eggplant spread and a charred corn and jalapeño relish builds layers and depth in the form of textures, colors and flavors.
- The eggplant spread in particular is crazy good- you’ll want to dig right into it with a spoon! Definitely save any leftovers for dipping with pita or fresh vegetables.
Tips & Tricks
The best part about this Grilled Cauliflower Steak recipe is that all of the components are cooked on the grill, and you can grill all of the ingredients at relatively the same time.
The roasted garlic for the eggplant spread will take the longest, so if you add it to the grill first and then add the cauliflower steaks, eggplant, corn and jalapeno about 15 minutes later, everything should be finished around the same time.
I like to arrange the cauliflower and eggplant in the center of the grill over the most direct heat since they are the larger of all the vegetables. The corn and jalapeño can be arranged on the outer edges where they are exposed to indirect heat.
Lastly, Don’t be tempted to constantly check and flip the vegetables too often. Just like when grilling meat, the vegetables need the proper time to develop grill marks and a nice char.
Thanks for supporting the brands that make this blog possible. Head to The Home Depot to check out all of their Memorial Day grill specials!
Grilled Cauliflower Steaks
These grilled cauliflower steaks served with a smoky eggplant spread and a charred corn relish prove just how delicious a vegan meal made entirely on the grill can be!
For the cauliflower steaks:
- 2 heads cauliflower
- Vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
For the grilled eggplant puree:
- 1 head garlic
- 1 large eggplant
- Vegetable oil
- Pinch of salt plus more for seasoning the puree
- Pinch of freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- Juice of 1 lemon
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
For the grilled corn relish:
- 1 large ear corn
- 1 jalapeño
- 1 to mato cored and diced
- 2 scallions chopped
- 1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of freshly ground pepper
- Prepare a charcoal fire on the grill.
- While the coals are heating, prepare all of the vegetables for grilling:
- Remove the outer leaves from each cauliflower head. Cut off the bottom stem end to create a flat base. Resting the cauliflower on the stem, cut the remaining head in half lengthwise, then trim away the sides, reserving them for another use. You should be left with 2 thick slices from each cauliflower head for a total of 4 steaks. Brush both sides of each steak with vegetable oil and season with salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder.
- Wrap garlic in aluminum foil. Pierce eggplant halves a few times with a paring knife. Brush the flesh with vegetable oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Brush corn and jalapeño with vegetable oil.
- When the coals are glowing, place the vegetables on the grill rack. The garlic will take the longest, about 25-30 minutes, so place it on the grill about 15 minutes before the other vegetables. Then place the cauliflower steaks and eggplant (placed flesh side down first) in the center over the most direct heat, and the corn and jalapeño on the outer edges of the heat. Cook the eggplant for about 10-12 minutes or until completely soft and blackened in some spots, flipping once with tongs. Cook the cauliflower steaks for about 4-5 minutes per side. Monitor the corn and jalapeño, turning once or twice with tongs. If cooked on indirect heat, they should take about the same time as the cauliflower steaks and eggplant.
- Pull the garlic, eggplant, corn and jalapeño off of the grill and transfer the cauliflower steaks to an upper warming rack to stay warm while the eggplant spread and corn salsa are prepared (alternatively you can keep the steaks warm in a 200 degree oven).
- To make the eggplant spread, allow the eggplant to cool slightly, then scoop the flesh away from the skins and transfer to a food processor along with 2-3 roasted garlic cloves (reserve the remaining roasted garlic for another use), tahini, lemon juice, paprika, salt and pepper. Blend into a smooth and creamy puree. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
- To make the corn relish, allow corn and jalapeño to cool slightly. Slice corn kernels from the cob and transfer to a bowl. Slice open jalapeño and remove the seeds, then chop finely and add to bowl along with tomato, scallions, parsley, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- To serve, place a spoonful of eggplant spread in the center of a plate and spread into a thin circle using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Place a cauliflower steak on top of the spread and top with corn relish.