Harissa Cauliflower Steaks with Maple-Tahini and Herby Peanut Crunch

Harissa Cauliflower Steaks with Maple-Tahini and Herby Peanut Crunch

Another low effort/high reward weeknight meal is ready to be added to your regular rotation. For those unfamiliar with Harissa, it’s a spicy chili paste that is frequently used in North African and Middle Eastern cooking. I love using it to add flair and flavor. You can find it in most grocery stores – usually in the International section. However, you probably won’t find an array of options to choose from. One brand that I do see quite frequently though, including at Rollin’ Oats, is the Mina brand which comes in two heat levels: mild and spicy. I typically opt for the mild rendition and then if I want to increase the heat I just add in some crushed red pepper flakes one pinch at a time. Trust me, you won’t need much as Harissa in all forms is going to have plenty of spice.

Harissa Cauliflower Steaks with Maple-Tahini and Herby Peanut Crunch
Harissa Cauliflower Steaks with Maple-Tahini and Herby Peanut Crunch

To balance out a spice-forward dish I often turn to tahini and something sweet like maple syrup or honey. Tahini is a simply toasted sesame that is basically ground to a paste-like substance that is similar to that of nut butters. When mixed with maple syrup, lemon juice, salt and a bit of water for thinning, this combination transforms into a savory-sweet drizzle that complements the heat. This maple-tahini mixture works well paired with many other dishes too, like grilled potatoes and also with medjool dates for an idyllic and luscious bite.

These cauliflower steaks are satisfying enough to be enjoyed all on their own, yet even better when enjoyed with a side of crispy rice. Make sure not to leave out the herby peanut crunch. It’s crucial for optimal texture and added brightness from the fresh herbs.

Harissa Cauliflower Steaks with Maple-Tahini and Herby Peanut Crunch

Abby Allen-Leach
Spicy, savory and sweet with a slam of crunch and zest - this cauliflower number hits all of the right notes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Servings 2
Calories 1778 kcal


For the Cauliflower

  • 1 Head of Cauliflower Organic, if available. Leaves trimmed and discarded.
  • 1 Red Onion Peeled and cut into 8 similar sized wedges
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Harissa Found at most grocery stores
  • 3 tsp Salt
  • Pepper To taste


  • 1/2 cup Tahini
  • 1.5 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1 Lemon Juice only
  • 1 tsp Salt Plus more, to taste
  • 1/2 cup Water

Herby Peanut Crunch

  • 1 cup Peanuts
  • 3/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp Salt Plus more, to taste
  • 1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Herbs Like Dill and Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Shallot, minced


Peanut Crunch

  • Add peanuts, minced shallot, oil and a couple pinches of salt to a small pot and heat over medium.
    Peanut Crunch under way
  • Stir occasionally until shallots and peanuts begin to brown, about 20 minutes.
    Peanuts and shallots sizzling
  • While peanuts and shallots cook, add crushed red pepper, garlic powder and 2 tsp salt to a medium bowl and have a strainer/mesh sieve ready as well as an area on the counter with paper towels laid flat (our peanuts/shallots will be cooling on here).
    Peanuts and Shallots cooling
  • When shallots and peanuts are ready, remove pot from heat and carefully pour mixture through sieve/strainer over the bowl with the garlic powder and crushed red pepper. Slowly pour peanuts and shallots over paper towels in an even layer. Allow to cool for 20 minutes then mix nuts and shallots back into oil and spices and stir to combine.
    Herby Peanut Crunch


  • In a medium bowl combine all ingredients except water. Mixture will thicken as you stir - add in water one tbsp at a time to loosen up mixture until desired consistency has been reached (you want to be able to drizzle it without being too watery). Taste and season as needed.

Cauliflower & Assembly

  • Preheat oven to 425F. Carefully cut the cauliflower head in half directly througth the stem. Then cut a steak (approximately an inch or so thick) from each half. If your cauliflower is large enough you can of course cut additional steaks. Cut up remaining cauliflower and florets and arrange everything in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
    Sliced Cauliflower
  • Drizzle cauliflower with 2 tbsp olive oil and 1.5 tsp salt and pepper
    Cauliflower with Oilive Oil
  • Roast cauliflower for 15 minutes.
    Cauliflower pre-oven
  • While cauliflower is roasting combine remaining tbsp olive oil with Harissa and remaining 1.5 tsp salt. Stir to combine.
  • Remove cauliflower from oven and evenly brush with reserved Harissa mixture. Add onion wedges to pan and roast for an additional 20 minutes (until cauliflower begins to take on some color on the edges).
    Roasted Cauliflower and Onions
  • To serve, spoon and swipe some maple-tahini onto a plate, top with a cauliflower steak and some roasted florets and spoon over plenty of herby peanut crunch.
    Cauliflower Steaks
Nutrition Facts
Harissa Cauliflower Steaks with Maple-Tahini and Herby Peanut Crunch
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1778 Calories from Fat 1539
% Daily Value*
Fat 171g263%
Saturated Fat 24g150%
Polyunsaturated Fat 37g
Monounsaturated Fat 103g
Sodium 7503mg326%
Potassium 1176mg34%
Carbohydrates 49g16%
Fiber 14g58%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 32g64%
Vitamin A 1844IU37%
Vitamin C 57mg69%
Calcium 231mg23%
Iron 8mg44%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Calories: 1778kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 32gFat: 171gSaturated Fat: 24gPolyunsaturated Fat: 37gMonounsaturated Fat: 103gSodium: 7503mgPotassium: 1176mgFiber: 14gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 1844IUVitamin C: 57mgCalcium: 231mgIron: 8mg
Keyword Cauliflower Steak, Vegan Dinner Recipes
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