What’s cooking today: Cauliflower steaks with garlic and cumin

What’s cooking today: Cauliflower steaks with garlic and cumin
Tony Jackman’s air fryer cauliflower steaks, served on a platter by Mervyn Gers Ceramics. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

These thick-cut cauliflower steaks doused in lemon, garlic and a touch of honey or sweet soy sauce turn out nicely singed thanks to the use of olive oil rather than a mere spraying of it.

An air fryer is a perfect vehicle for charred cauliflower steaks, and charring is a big thing in world cuisine right now. They’re flavoured with lemon, cumin and garlic and ready in 15 minutes.

One thing about air fryers needs demystifying: that all you do is give whatever you’re cooking in it a couple of spurts of cooking spray. This is not true. There’s no reason not to coat an ingredient such as cauliflower steaks thoroughly in olive oil, which means brushing the oil on them, which gives them more of a coating than a mere spray.

So, a basting brush needs to be a part of your air fryer arsenal. You can also brush melted butter on things, which is what I did this weekend with an air fryer roast chicken. Keep reading TGIFood this week for that recipe…

(Serves 2)


2 cauliflower steaks, about 2 cm thick

3 Tbsp olive oil

Zest and juice of 1 small lemon (or ½ a large one)

1 tsp runny raw honey or sweet soy sauce

A pinch of cumin seeds

Garlic salt to taste

Black pepper to taste


Slice the cauliflower through the thickest part into steaks, leaving the core intact, as it helps to hold the florets together. Trim away the leaves.

Mix the lemon juice, zest, honey and olive oil together with a few grindings of garlic salt and black pepper.  Stir in a pinch of cumin seeds. Brush on both sides of the cauliflower steaks.

Preheat the air fryer at 200℃ for 5 minutes. Spray the base of the air fryer pan with olive oil spray. Place the steaks in and set the fryer at 200℃ for 8 minutes. Remove, turn them over, and cook for another 7 minutes at the same temperature. DM

Tony Jackman is Galliova Food Writer 2023, jointly with TGIFood columnist Anna Trapido. Order his book, foodSTUFF, here

Follow Tony Jackman on Instagram @tony_jackman_cooks.

This dish is photographed on a plate by Mervyn Gers Ceramics.


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