Saffron & Wine Braised Cauliflower Steaks

Saffron and wine braised cauliflower steaks with green olive piston dressing

Saffron & wine braised cauliflower steaks are next level. You may have tried Cauliflower steaks, but these are something else. Seared before serving, a caramelised crispy outer encases the al dente inner. The Mediterranean inspired braising stock combines wine, garlic and bay. Saffron adds an earthy flavour and a distinctive aroma, as well as the brilliant golden colour.

Building on the Mediterranean inspired flavours, the cauliflower steaks are served with a simple, but delicious, green olive pistou. Parsley, grapefruit and barberries coated in a herbaceous extra virgin olive oil good.

We love to eat locally and seasonally, and while these flavours are synonymous with the Mediterranean, we were also lucky enough to source and even grow most of them where we were living until recently. The Wairarapa in New Zealand, is a region renowned for its award winning Olive oils and wine. We were also surrounded by abundant citrus trees, and enjoyed growing our own vegetables and fresh herbs, best of all I was even able to grow my own saffron.

This recipe lends itself to what you have at hand. If you can’t source fresh grapefruit, you could substitute with other citrus fruits, just adjust the taste to balance their sweetness or acidity. Cranberries or raisins could be used instead of barberries or another variety of olive. Remember to taste as you go, when adjusting for what you use.

Saffron & Wine Braised Cauliflower Steaks


  • 1-2 whole cauliflower
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 500ml  chicken style stock
  • 250ml  dry white wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 slices of lemon
  • pinch of saffron


Put saffron into a small bowl and cover with boiling water.

Cut steaks 2-3cm thick, ensure some of the stem is attached to keep the steak in tact.

Mix the ingredients for your braising stock and pour in a baking dish with the cauliflower. Bake at 175ºC for 35-45 minutes, turn over halfway through, the cauliflower steaks should just cooked. Aim for “medium-rare”, not well done.

Green Olive Pistou

  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 large grapefruit – segmented and chopped – save juice
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsely
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2tbsp barberries
  • 1/3 pitted green olives, chopped

To make the green olive pistou, first put the barberries into a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 15 minutes then drain.

Combine together the grapefruit, barberries, olives, garlic, parsley, and olive oil. Gently toss to combine and taste for seasoning.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

To Serve

Both the cauliflower steaks and green olive pistou can be prepared ahead. To serve heat enough olive oil to coat the base of a heavy based fry pan, or cast iron skillet. Once hot, add cauliflower steaks, let them cook until golden brown on each side.

Dress with green olive pistou before serving.

If this recipe is made with oats tha

If your a fan of cauliflower steaks, you may like to try them with a creamy mushroom sauce or serve cauliflower on a Kūmara Steak for a change.

    1. ishbel says:

      Hello, this dish I tend to serve when I have guests, when I made this particular photographed dish we started with the overnight bread and cashew cheese and dips. Simple sides, a warm potato salad and always a green salad. Baked apples with custard and caramel is an easy make ahead dessert. Let me know what you choose to do. @call.me.ishbel

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