Polenta Cauliflower ‘Steaks’

Crunchy, cheesy (from the nutritional yeast) and dairy-free, these cauliflower ‘steaks’ make every vegan smile. The tangy salsa verde harnesses all the power of English summer herbs, is equally good on leftover veggies, and really comes to life with a generous grinding of black pepper. For the vegan version, leave out the anchovies and add a good sprinkle of salt instead. 


  • 1 cauliflower
  • 6 tbsp olive or coconut oil 
  • 4 tbsp polenta
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

For the Salsa Verde: 

  • a large handful of fresh parsley 
  • a large handful of basil leaves 
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 anchovy fillets, in oil (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 200 °C/gas 6.
  • First make the salsa verde: place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blitz until smooth. Spoon into a bowl and chill until ready to serve.
  • Wash and trim your cauliflower and cut it into 2.Scm-thick slices (depending on the size of the cauliflower you will get about 3 or 4 ‘steaks’ out of it). You will be left with a few florets at the end; keep these as they can roast alongside the steaks.
  • Place the cauliflower slices in a large baking tray and drizzle all over with 3 tablespoons of the oil. Rub it in so they are all covered, then sprinkle over 2 tablespoons of polenta and 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast, making sure they are evenly covered. Sprinkle with a little salt, turn the pieces over and repeat.
  • Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, then turn the cauliflower slices over and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes. It should be crunchy and golden on the outside with a little bite in the middle. Serve with the  salsa verde.


CNM recommends the use of organic ingredients.
Recipe by Xochi Balfour. Photography by Rahel Weiss.