Crispy Nut-Encrusted Cauliflower Slices

Crispy Nut-Encrusted Cauliflower Slices

The original recipe that inspired this dish was called nut-crusted cauliflower steaks. I decided to do you a favour and not use the word steak, because it’s a pet hate of mine when people try to veganise the name of a dish to find common ground with non-vegans. I find it misleading and, in many cases, just gross.

Take my personal nemesis, the vegan version of chicken mayonnaise. It’s made with smashed chickpeas, vegan mayo and savoury spices and it’s quite delicious. But vegan food trucks and takeaway joints have for some reason decided to refer to this sandwich as the Chickless Mayo. I can’t decide what is more offensive – the fact that I’m now imagining baby chicks on my sandwich (doesn’t matter that the word is chickless, you said chicks!!) or that they’re specifically trying to tell me there are no chicks involved. WHAT DO CHICKPEAS HAVE TO DO WITH CHICKS???

Anyway, it really annoys me and I think it actually puts meat eaters off instead of connecting them with an alternative food option. My friend actively turned up her nose when I offered her a bite of this artlessly named chickless mayo, whereas if I’d said smashed chickpeas and mayo, I reckon she would have tried it. Same girl, I get it.

So without further ado, here is a recipe for nut-encrusted cauliflower NOT STEAKS which are firm, crispy and delicious. Red meat not included.

Crispy Nut-Encrusted Cauliflower Slices 



  • 1 large head cauliflower (I didn’t have enough cauliflower at the time of making this, so I used broccoli as well and it worked just fine)

Almond Buttermilk:

  • 1 cup unsweetened plant milk of choice
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice


  • 1 ½cups macadamia nuts or cashews (I used ground macadamias – you can use whole nuts which you’ll grind in the recipe process)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 ½ tsp curry powder
  • 1 ½ tsp smoked/normal paprika
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil


1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees (200 degrees in fan assisted oven)

2. To cut the cauliflower into thick slices, trim the stem and leaves off while being careful not to remove the center of the stem, as this is what holds the slices together.


3. Turn the cauliflower stem-side down and visually map out how many slices you  plan to cut. A large head of cauli should produce about 3 thick slices. The middle is what you want to focus on as the end pieces of the head usually crumble. These can be made into little crispy bits.

4. Partially cook the cauli slices and bits for 4-5 mins in a bamboo or metal steamer. This is to ensure that once they go in the oven, the inside is tender while the outside goes crispy and brown. Once partially cooked, remove from heat and set aside to cool.

5. Prepare your vegan buttermilk by adding plant milk and lemon juice to a dish that is shallow enough to dip the cauliflower in.

6. Prepare the nut coating by adding ground or whole nuts, spices and cornstarch to a food processor and pulsing until a semi-fine meal is achieved. Transfer the coating to another shallow dish.

7. Dip the cooled cauli slices into the buttermilk, ensuring both sides are fully immersed. Set slices back on a plate for the excess milk to drip off and season both sides with a pinch of salt.


8. Roll the cauli slices one at a time in the coating until thoroughly coated, using your hands to add more coating to any bare spots. Transfer the slices to a baking tray lined with baking paper or a grill pan with racks (I used a baking tray). Drizzle with a dash of olive oil to help them crisp up.

9. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the slices are easily pierced with a knife and the exterior is golden brown and crispy.

10. Serve with whatever tickles your fancy – we had ours with roasted butternut stuffed with creamed spinach.





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