Vegan Cauliflower Steak Sandwich with Chimichurri Sauce


I recently realized that my posts have been meat heavy of late. So, I promised to feature something vegan for my next post.

Today’s post is a recipe we’ve had a few times this week. It was so good we just kept coming back to it. It’s nice to have some quick recipes in the repertoire and, with some ingredients I already had on hand, this meal pulls together very quickly.

The Chimichurri

Chimichurri. Say it. Love it. Let the word roll off your tongue.

If you’ve never made it I encourage you to take the 3 minutes to try it. It makes an incredible marinade or sauce for meat, but it’s also great for dipping in bread, using it to make salad dressings (just add a little extra oil and lemon juice), or using it in a salad such as in the Millet Pomegranate Salad. It makes an intriguing garnish for a tomato soup and would make a great tofu marinade. The best part is that its easy to make and lasts all week, so it can be incorporated into several dishes.

Though Chimichurri is typically thought of as a sauce or marinade for meat, as you can see, we’ve found many more uses for it than that. It’s surprisingly versatile. The flavors at first seem almost Italian with the flat leaf parsley, the oregano, garlic, red chilies, red wine vinegar and olive oil, but it is actually of Argentinian heritage. There are several variations of Chimichurri using the ingredients mentioned above, and it is often made using cilantro, lemon juice and cumin.

The Tomatoes

The second staple I had on hand were some Slow Roasted Tomatoes. Chris from The Café Sucré Farine posted a lovely recipe for them a couple of weeks back and I was looking forward to trying out her method of adding in quarter lemons to the batch. The tomatoes were delicious and we have thoroughly enjoyed having them on hand. In fact, I added some olive oil to approximately a 1/4 cup of oven dried tomatoes with a small garlic clove and made a fabulous pizza sauce for our Sprouted Spelt Pizzas!

The Sourdough

One of my big time saving “tricks” is that I invest the time up front to find a bakery that makes real sourdough bread and then just buy it from them. Sourdough can be a little time consuming to make. Some conveniences are nice to have. Why sourdough, you ask? Here’s a quote you’ll find interesting.

  • With sourdough bread, complex carbohydrates are broken down into more digestible simple sugars and protein is broken down into amino acids. Enzymes develop during proofing which are not lost in baking since the center of the loaf remains at a lower temperature than the crust. It’s the fermentation, partly from lactobacillus, that makes eating good quality bread an aid to digestion of all complex carbohydrate foods including other grains, beans, and vegetables. It helps restore the functioning of the digestive tract, resulting in proper assimilation and elimination.
  • Source found here.

I encourage you to take some time to read about it if you can. There’s plenty of information on the internet explaining the science behind it and now there are plenty of blogs out there that will even show you how to do it yourself. Go Frolic is a fabulous resource as well as Gnowfglins.com.

I recently started taking an ecourse by Wardeh at Gnowfglins that takes you through all the steps, stages and procedures for traditional cooking methods. Not only does she take the time to tell you the how, she’ll even tell you the why and the science behind it, in a easy to understand format. LOVE IT. You can find out more about it here or check out some of her weekly traditional cooking videos on her YouTube channel.

Back to sourdough.

We recently lost out neighborhood bakery and as a result lost our source for real sourdough bread. Most sourdough bread is made with the addition of yeast. I wanted the real stuff. By making a few calls, I was able to find another bakery that not only makes real sourdough bread, but also only uses organic whole grain flours. Score!

I wrote down the schedule of when the bread was made. They make one type on Tuesdays and Thursdays and another on Wednesdays and Saturdays. A little post it note on the fridge lets us know when to head down and pick up a loaf. I can have a fresh warm loaf of bread made using traditional cooking methods, before my oven would have even reached cooking temperature. That’s convenient.

Roasted Cauliflower Steak Sandwich with Chimichurri Sauce

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • slow oven roasted tomatoes
  • sourdough bread
  • chimichurri sauce

Set the oven to broil with the rack set on the second highest level. Take the head of cauliflower and cut it into 1 inch thick slices. I usually get 4 good slices and reserve the remaining cauliflower bits for another recipe. Lay the cauliflower steaks onto a baking sheet and brush or spray with olive oil. Broil for 13 minutes or until cooked and golden brown. I don’t flip them them.

1 inch Cauliflower slices

Toast the sourdough bread. Spray or brush with a little olive oil. Rub a garlic clove over the surface of the bread. Place a layer of tomatoes on the bread. Top the bread with a slice of cauliflower and top with chimichurri sauce.

Chimichurri Sauce

  • 2 cups Italian Flat leaf Parsley
  • 1/2 cup oregano leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar ( add more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or using an emulsion blender works too. Blend until well incorporated.

I’m sharing this with Real Food 101, Mangia Mondays, Monday Mania, My Meatless Monday, This Week’s CravingsSlightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesday, A Little Birdie Told Me, Fat Tuesday, These Chicks Cook, Cast Party Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Tasty Alternative, Whole New Mom, What’s Cooking Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Pennywise Platter Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, and Full Plate Thursday.

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28 Responses to Vegan Cauliflower Steak Sandwich with Chimichurri Sauce

  1. Jami April 8, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

    I’m no vegan, but this looks delicious! Can’t wait to try it, yum!

    • France Morissette April 8, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

      We’re not vegan either, but we love this recipe. I think we ate it 3 times this week :)

    • beyondthepeel April 9, 2012 at 2:18 am #

      Jami, we’re not vegan either, but we love this recipe. We ate it 3 times this week!

  2. Jeanette Chen April 8, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

    Chimichurri sauce is a favorite in our house – love the idea of a Cauliflower Steak paired with slow roasted tomatoes. So interesting what Go Frolic says – “Only when wheat gluten is properly fermented is it healthy for human consumption. When not it is potentially one of the most highly allergenic foods we eat.” I wonder if the way bread is mass produced today is part of the reason behind all the wheat allergies.

    • beyondthepeel April 9, 2012 at 2:22 am #

      Jeanette, I’m no scientist, but I do know several people who have wheat allergies but can eat sprouted flour and sourdough breads no problem. And there seems to be more and more research coming to light to support that argument.

  3. Amber H April 9, 2012 at 2:51 am #

    Hi There France,

    You are so very clever! What a great idea.  This looks substantial and quite filling.  Can’t wait to try your chimichurri sauce.   Beautiful as always!  Thanks for sharing.

    Have a great week.

    –Amber 

    • beyondthepeel April 9, 2012 at 3:12 am #

      Thanks Amber! We’ve been loving this recipe. Chimichurri is amazing. You’ll love it!

  4. Koko April 9, 2012 at 5:52 am #

    France, this is one of my favourite posts yet! I love chimichurri, and roasted cauliflower, too. The resources you listed here are great! And I never thought of putting cauliflower on a sandwich!

    • beyondthepeel April 12, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

       Koko, you’re so sweet! You’ve got to try this sandwich. You’ll love it :)

  5. Joanne April 9, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

    What a deliciously refreshing meal! Chimichurri is one of the most refreshing sauces out there and i know it must really brighten up the flavors of this sandwich!

    • beyondthepeel April 12, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

       You hit the nail right on the head Joanne. Chimichurri is magic on this sandwich.

  6. Vegyid2 April 9, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

    I just roasted some cauliflower,, I’ve got to try this sauce. Looks fabulous

  7. mjskit April 10, 2012 at 1:39 am #

    I love everything about this sandwich! Your Chimichurri Sauce looks especially delicious and I bet it’s really special with the cauliflower! YUM!

    • beyondthepeel April 10, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

      Thanks MJ! This chimichurri sauce is dangerous!

  8. Miz Helen April 14, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

    Hi France,
    I just love your sandwich, that is one of my favorite ways to have cauliflower and that Chimichurri Sauce of course will be a winner with anything.  This is great!   Hope you are having a great spring week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

    • beyondthepeel April 15, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

      Thank you for stopping by Miz Helen. We are loving this sandwich and it’s becoming a regular appearance at the table.

  9. Chaya April 15, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

    What a fantastic way to make cauliflower which is one of my favorite veggies and one, I don’t make often enough.  You are motivating me to change that.  I love your site and I always walk away with something of value.  Thanks.

    This recipe is being featured this week.  Come on over and visit all the wonderful links that will be posted.

    • beyondthepeel April 16, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

      Chaya, thank you so much for your kind words. You are so sweet! Thanks for featuring my recipe this week!

  10. Jenn Erickson April 16, 2012 at 10:06 pm #

    I love chimichurri and cauliflower too, but have never tried the two together.  You are a master of artful culinary combinations.  What a wonderful vegetarian dish.  I do love meat, but wouldn’t miss it for a moment if I had the pleasure of this sandwich on my plate!

  11. Amber H April 17, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

    HI France,

    Just love this idea!  

    Thank you for sharing your recipe with us last week on AFW!  Be sure to check back this week for reader favorites and hostess picks.  Be Well,–Amber & AFW Hostesses 

  12. VeggieVinyasa April 18, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

    I love chimichurri. I’ve done it on grilled tomatoes and sourdough, but takes things to a whole new flavor. Looks awesome!

  13. Wendy @ VeggieYogi.com January 11, 2013 at 4:16 am #

    Wow–this looks delicious. What a great idea to use cauliflower!

    • France Morissette January 11, 2013 at 8:35 am #

      You would not believe how often we have this for dinner in our house and my husband is a meat eater and he loves it!

    • beyondthepeel January 14, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

      You wouldn’t believe how often we have this for dinner. I hope you enjoy it.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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