It was a school night in the spring of 1995; I was eleven and in the throes of my preteen years, and my mom served up a recipe for Sautéed Worcestershire Chicken that she had found in Bon Appétit. Although the title highlights Worcestershire, it was the subtle addition of balsamic vinegar that always stood out for me. It was this dish that ignited my love for the rich and tangy vinegar.

These Roasted Balsamic Cauliflower Steaks tip their balsamic hat to that childhood favorite of mine. They’re soaked in a rich balsamic marinade before being roasted and topped with a lively tomato-basil relish. I recommend finding the biggest head of cauliflower that you can or investing in two medium heads for this dish, because you’ll need to cut at least four sizable “steaks” from the center.


1 extra-large or 2 medium heads 

cauliflower, outer leaves removed

2/3 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup cold-pressed olive oil

2 tablespoons tahini

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2–3/4 teaspoon sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper



1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced

1/4 cup loosely packed basil leaves, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1 small clove garlic, minced

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper  


     For the Roasted Balsamic Cauliflower Steaks

Carefully stand the head of cauliflower on its stem and use a sharp knife to cut it in half down the center. Then, stand each half on its stem and cut as many 1/2- to 3/4-inch-thick cauliflower “steaks” as possible, moving from the center outward. You’ll want at least 4 total but preferably more if possible. Reserve the remaining cauliflower for other uses.

 Prepare the marinade. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, tahini, garlic, sea salt, and black pepper to taste. In a large resealable bag, combine the cauliflower steaks and marinade and toss to evenly coat. Marinate for 30 minutes, gently turning the bag every 5–10 minutes to redistribute the marinade.

 After about 15 minutes of marinating, preheat the oven to 400 ̊F and line a large baking tray with parchment paper.

 Remove the cauliflower steaks from the marinade and spread them out in a single layer on the lined baking tray. Bake for 30–35 minutes, or until golden brown and tender, gently flipping at the 15-minute mark.


      For the Tomato-Basil Relish

 While the cauliflower is baking, prepare the tomato-basil relish. In a small mixing bowl, gently stir together all the relish ingredients, then refrigerate until serving.


To Assemble

 Divide the cauliflower steaks among plates, and season with more sea salt and black pepper, if desired. Spoon the tomato-basil relish on top of each steak and serve immediately.

Recipes from Blissful Basil by Ashley Melillo

Serves 2–4

 1 hour +

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