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Polenta With Cauliflower Steak

Polenta with cauliflower steak (Vegan + Gluten Free) served with some greens and a delicious roasted bell pepper sauce. Oh, so good and so easy to prepare. Total time of about 20-25 minutes tops. Don't have to slog in the kitchen to whip up a delicious meal for two on Valentine's day or date night. Blackened cauliflower steak is good on its own, but when paired with polenta and the red pepper sauce... It takes the meal to a totally different level. Gourmet restaurant style meal in the comfort of your home!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2


Blackened Spice Rub

  • 3 tablespoon Paprika
  • 2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
  • ½ teaspoon Cayenne pepper adjust to taste
  • ½ teaspoon mustard I used whole black mustard seeds

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

  • 2 roasted red peppers
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 2-3 basil leaves
  • 1 shallot; roughly chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon chilli flakes

Cauliflower Steak

  • 1 large cauliflower
  • 1-2 teaspoon oil + more for greasing

Sauteed Greens

  • 2 large chard leaves
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil


  • 1-1 ½ cups of quick cooking polenta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Garlic chips for garnish

  • 1 meidum sized garlic clove finely sliced


Blackened Spice Rub

  • Using a food processor, blend all the ingredients listed under "blackened spice rub" to a fine powder.

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

  • Heat oil in a skillet, and saute garlic and chopped shallot and fry for a few minutes. Transfer to a blender, add roasted pepper, chilli flakes, and basil leaves and blend to desired consistency.

Cauliflower Steak

  • Note: Cauliflower steaks are delicate. Handle with care.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degree Fahrenheit (200 degree Celsius) . Line a baking tray with parchment paper and grease it with oil.
  • Trim the end of the cauliflower leaving the core intact. From the center, cut two ¾ inch pieces starting from top going all the way to the bottom.
  • Heat oil in a medium sized skillet (you can reuse the skillet you used for the read pepper sauce above; wipe clean if required) and sear the cauliflower stakes on both sides (about a minute or two).
  • Transfer the steaks to the prepared baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle the blackened spice rub generously and evenly over the steaks. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15-18 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven.

Sauteed Greens and Garnish

  • Wash and roughly chop the chard leaves.
  • Heat oil in the skillet (again, you can reuse the skillet you used in the previously; wipe clean if required) and add the thinly sliced garlic cloves. Fry till golden brown and crisp. Drain on a paper towel.
  • To the same skillet, add the chopped chard leaves and saute for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt. Remove from heat.


  • Follow the instructions on the package for the quick cooking polenta.
  • Once polenta is cooked, whisk in olive oil.

Assembling the dish

  • In a serving plate, serve the desired quantity of polenta.
  • Gently place (you can use a wide spatula to transfer the steaks) on top of the polenta.
  • Place some sauteed greens on the side.
  • Top the cauliflower steak with red pepper sauce and garnish with garlic chips.
  • Serve immediately.


1. This is a very easy vegan and gluten-free recipe ideal for Valentine's day or a date night.
2. Blackened spice rub can be prepared in advance and stored in an airtight container for future use. You might not use the entire quantity mentioned in the recipe for two steaks.
3. You can use a food processor or Vitamix to grind the spices to get a fine spice powder. Or use a medium-sized mortar and pestle. :)
4. Roasted red pepper sauce can also be made in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.
5. Depending on the size of the cauliflower, the steak sizes may vary. You will not be able to use the entire cauliflower to make steaks. the florets will start to loosen up. Reserve the florets for a different recipe.
6. Since you need only two peppers to make the sauce, you can roast them on the stovetop. Place the red peppers on a wire roaster (or something similar), over the stovetop. Using a tong, turn the peppers at regular intervals (every 4-5 minutes). When peppers are charred to your preference, remove from fire and keep in a closed container for about 10 minutes. This cools down the peppers, and also the steam loosens the skin making peeling easier. (Note: The cooking time or the preparation time does not include the time to roast the red peppers)
7. Handle cauliflower steaks gently. They are delicate and have a chance of breaking off easily.