Pan-Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Tomatoes and Capers

Tara Duggan

Root-to-Stalk Cooking (Ten Speed Press - 2013)

Chefs around the country have embraced the concept of nose-to-tail cooking, and we’re all for it. Similarly, there’s no reason that lesser-used vegetable parts should be discarded. For guidance and inspiration, we tapped JBF Award–winning author Tara Duggan, who recently penned Root-to-Stalk Cooking: The Art of Using the Whole Vegetable (Ten Speed Press, 2013), which features flavorful recipes for stalks, ribs, fronds, and stems, along with creative tips for making the most of seasonal ingredients while reducing waste and saving money.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon red chile flakes
  • ½ head cauliflower, cut into cross sections about ½-inch thick, plus any leaves
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons capers (soaked in water if salted), drained
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley


Heat the olive oil in a large cast-iron frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and red chile flakes, and swirl until fragrant.

Add the cauliflower, which should fit in the pan in a single layer, and any extra cauliflower pieces, making sure they are all touching the pan. Season with salt.

Cook the cauliflower steaks (without turning) until caramelized, about 8 minutes. Then flip and cook until browned on the bottom and tender, another 8 to 10 minutes. During the last few minutes, add the cauliflower leaves, tomatoes, and capers, and cook until the tomatoes and leaves wilt.

Adjust the seasoning with salt, scatter with the parsley, and serve immediately.


2 servings