How to Turn Cauliflower into a Juicy "Steak"

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How to Turn Cauliflower into a Juicy "Steak"

Pictured Recipe: Cauliflower Steaks with Chimichurri

I love meat as much as the next person. But I also love vegetables (and who doesn't like a little surprise switcheroo?). As someone who leans toward a plant-based diet and spent a good chunk of my adult life as a vegetarian, I like to get a little creative with my mains. With the right seasonings and cooking techniques, you can cook up a nice "meaty" all-veggie meal that satisfies.

Related: Genius Vegetarian Recipes That Swap Vegetables for Meat

I've swapped carrots for hot dogs (and even served them to my family). I know… it sounds like a pretty sad fake. But it isn't! They're actually really tasty. And the kids ate them, which is more than I can say for a lot of meals. Grilled cabbage makes a tasty stand-in for porterhouse steak with herb butter. Just trust me on that one. And then, there's cauliflower "steak"—the prime center cut of a head of cauliflower.

When it comes to using vegetables instead of meat, there's always the question of "Why?" and to that I say, "Why not?" Cauliflower stands in for almost anything these days: bread, mashed potatoes, English muffins, you name it. So why not steak?

These are all great reasons to dig into a juicy, um, steak. Here's how to do it.

How to Cut a Cauliflower Steak

Cauliflower steak

Step 1

Place the head on a cutting board, stem-side up.

Step 2

Using a large chef's knife, slice the cauliflower through the stem into 2 equal halves.

Step 3

Slice a 1-inch steak from the cut edge of each half, including the stem. Reserve the rest of the cauliflower for another use. (Cauliflower rice, anyone?)

Step 4

Cauliflower Steaks Milanese with Salsa Verde

Pictured Recipe: Cauliflower Steaks Milanese with Salsa Verde

Cook up your steak! Milanese, the traditional Italian preparation of breading meat then sautéing it until crispy, is just the treatment to give cauliflower steaks for a healthy vegetarian dinner. Served with a zesty salad and a glass of chilled verdicchio or pinot grigio. Or try roasting it in the oven and serving on top of cauliflower rice and romesco.

Like what you see? Cauliflower can stand in for chicken too:

Watch: How to Make Carrot Dogs

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The center cut of a head of cauliflower makes a great meaty-but-meatless stand-in for steak.
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Penelope Wall
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How to Turn Cauliflower into a Juicy "Steak"