Oven Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Black Garlic and Asparagus is a very simple and quick one-sheet meal that has a ton of flavor thanks to the umami of black garlic.Jump to Recipe
One of the things I love about being “Megan, the food blogger,” is that sometimes people will give me new ingredients to try out. My mom’s yoga friend snatched up some black garlic for me to use and this is what I did with it.
But I should clarify that this isn’t the first thing I did. Since I’ve never tasted anything with it, seen or touched it, or searched for recipes with it, there was some trial and error.
What is Black Garlic?
Black garlic is all the wonders of the Maillard reaction in the extreme. Which is why it’s so tasty. Originally I thought black garlic was fermented. But it’s heated at 140 degrees Fahrenheit for long periods of time (1 to 6 months) so that the sugars are slowly reduced.
The truth about black garlic’s origins is a food mystery and a bit of a sticky situation. But most sources support that it is part of Asian cuisine, particularly of Korean or Japanese.
Chefs and I love it for the depth of flavor it has. It has caramel and chocolate notes and is slightly sweet with a very small tang.
How to Use Black Garlic
My advice after a couple of misfires is to use black garlic simply. It’s a complex ingredient and shouldn’t be buried under more complexity.
Creamy fats without a lot of tang go really well with it, like butter, whole milk, and heavy cream. I tried making a yogurt sauce with it and the tang from the nonfat yogurt combined with the tang in the black garlic. Basically, it was a whole lot of tang and none of the caramelized sweet depth.
It would almost be easier to think of black garlic as a paste or butter rather than garlic cloves. You can see from the pictures that it is extremely soft. Some cloves are more leathery and don’t spread as well but most are as soft as butter.
The first few recipes I tried to dice the black garlic. That just resulted in it getting rubbed into my cutting board. I found it was easiest to peel it and then rub it into the cauliflower steaks.
I thought black garlic was going to be insanely expensive but it’s all about perspective. Is it expensive compared to regular garlic? Yes. But is it in the high price range of a lot of gourmet food products? No, I don’t think so.
This package from Trader Joe’s was $3.50 and contained two whole heads of black garlic.
Oven Roasted Cauliflower Steaks
In January I threw a dinner party for some friends and one of the recipes was cauliflower soup. A whole head of cauliflower, rubbed with butter and seasoned with salt and pepper, was roasted in the oven and then pureed. It almost didn’t get into the blender though because it tasted so good.
I decided to do these Oven Roasted Cauliflower Steaks in the same way and used the black garlic a lot like butter. You rub the steaks with butter, then black garlic, and then season them with salt and pepper. The steaks roast for 30 minutes, with a flip and toss midway through.
That’s all there is to this recipe and it tastes amazing. There is so much flavor with such little effort. Have any of you ever cooked or baked with black garlic?
More Cauliflower Recipes
- Raw Cauliflower and Kale Tabbouleh with Creamy Roasted Garlic Cashew Dressing
- Cauliflower Tempura Bites with Honey Ginger Sriracha Sauce
- Creamy Garlic Cauliflower Potato Mash
- Leftover Mash Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Oven Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Black Garlic and Asparagus
- 1 large cauliflower
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 to 8 cloves black garlic or to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound asparagus, woody ends removed
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove the leaves and trim the stem of the cauliflower, making sure to leave the core intact. Place the cauliflower core side down and cut it into four 1/2 inch steaks, starting from the center. You may not be able to get four steaks out of your cauliflower. Don’t throw the florets away though-season them as well.
Spread out the cauliflower on a baking sheet. Rub butter on both sides of the cauliflower steaks and loose florets and then rub with the peeled black garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the asparagus to the baking sheet, spreading the stalks in-between the cauliflower steaks.
Roast for 15 minutes. Flip the cauliflower and do a little taste test to see if you need to add more salt and pepper. Place back in the oven and roast for 15 more minutes. Serve.