Purple Cauliflower Steakwith Arugula Pesto and Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette


Move over, sous vide steak. This veggie has all the flavor bona fides to sub in for meaty mains.


Purple Cauliflower Steak:

2 heads purple cauliflower, halved
1 C beet juice
4 cloves garlic, minced
1½ tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Pinch Espelette red pepper powder (may substitute unsmoked hot paprika)
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
½ Tbsp balsamic vinegar, to garnish
Chives, to garnish

Arugula Pesto:

2 C arugula, packed
½ C olive oil, plus extra
½ C pine nuts, toasted (may substitute walnuts)
⅓ C Parmesan, grated
1 garlic clove, smashed
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp pepper

Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette:

3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 Tbsp shallots, minced
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste



  • Sous vide circulator
  • Sous vide pouch and sealer
  • Baking rack or pan
  • Sauté pan
  • Mallet
  • Blender or processor
  • Saucepan
  • Wooden spoon


Prepping time: 25 minutes / Cooking time: 15-20 minutes (excludes sous vide cooking)




For the Cauliflower Steak:

  1. Place the halved cauliflowers into a large sous vide pouch with beet juice, minced garlic, salt, pepper, Espelette pepper, and a tablespoon of olive oil.
  2. Seal pouch and infuse for at least three hours for maximum flavor.
  3. Cook in water bath at 182°F (83°C) for one hour.
  4. After cooking, open the pouch and move the cauliflower to a rack or pan to dry.
  5. Reserve the remaining liquid from the pouch and set aside for vinaigrette.
  6. Next, cut into one-inch-thick “steaks.”
  7. Grill or sear in sauté pan over high heat with a tablespoon of oil, about three minutes.
  8. Let rest for a few minutes before dressing.

For the Arugula Pesto:

  1. Place all ingredients into a large sous vide pouch, spreading into an even layer.
  2. Using a mallet, lightly smash the contents and break the pine nuts.
  3. Next, seal the pouch and compress for three hours.
  4. Open the pouch and transfer the mixture into a blender or processor.
  5. Blend for three minutes or until creamy. If the pesto seems too thick, slowly add more olive oil. Set aside.

For the Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette:

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil, then add shallots and stir often until softened, about five minutes.
  2. Next, add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes begin to burst, another five minutes.
  3. Use a wooden spoon to crush some tomatoes, if desired.
  4. Add red wine vinegar, the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon reserved cauliflower liquid, and salt and pepper.
  5. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

To Serve:

Place one steak on each plate and top with the pesto and tomato vinaigrette. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with chives, if desired.

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