Veggie braai ideas
Tired of the same old baked potato or grilled corn on your vegetable braai? No need to endure brown and boring veggie dishes. Veggie steaks are a thing and you should totally be on board this train – it’s a sure-fire way of turning a relatively budget-friendly ingredient into a luscious treat.
A quick rule of thumb
If you look at a piece of steak, the biggest thing to note is the large surface area. Using this as a guideline, you’ll be able to turn any vegetable into a ‘steak’, provided you can prepare it with this large surface. Cauliflower and broccoli are easy to do this to. Keeping the root intact, slice down to cut out 2-3 steaks. If any florets fall off, simply roast them for a crispy garnish, or save to use in another dish. If you’ve got large aubergines, you can slice them lengthways. Big brown mushrooms have done all the work for you, and are pretty much ready to be used.
How to cook them:
Cooking a veggie steak is the easy part, and you’ve got a few options for this. Firstly, you could just crank your oven up to the highest setting and grill them, which is the most hands-off option (provided you set a timer so they don’t burn under the grill). The next method is to treat them the same way you would a regular steak, so toss them in a hot pan or on the braai. With the larger surface area, you’ll be able to get some really good caramelisation and char – so give them a rub over with some olive oil and throw them on the grills.
How to serve them:
The thing about veggie steaks is that they’re not only a great alternative for the vegetarian at the table, but they’re also a new way to cook a standard veggie. So, serve them the same way you would any broccoli, aubergine or mushroom. If you’re treating them like a beef steak, however, it’s worth noting that pepper sauce, Béarnaise and a creamy blue cheese sauce would all work wonders here.
Roast cauliflower with parsley oil
- 2 cauliflower heads, sliced into steaks
- ½ cup almond oil, plus 2 T for drizzling
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 80 g Grana Padano, grated
- 60 g parsley, leaves picked
- Caperberries, fried, to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 200°C. Toss the cauliflower steaks in the almond oil and seasoning. Roast for 10 minutes, then sprinkle over the Grana Padano and roast for a further 20 minutes until tender but still firm.
- Meanwhile, make the parsley oil. Blanch the parsley for a few seconds, until the leaves are bright green, drain and refresh in iced water. Squeeze out any excess water. Transfer to a blender, blend with the remaining almond oil, then strain through cheesecloth.
- Serve the cauliflower with a drizzle of parsley oil, topped with the fried caperberries.
Grilled broccoli steaks with white beans, red onions and anchovy butter
- 1 head broccoli
- 1 T olive oil
- 4-6 anchovy fillets
- 100 g softened butter
- 1 x 400 g can cannellini beans, drained
- 1 red onion, sliced
- Mint, for serving
- Cut the broccoli head into steaks and rub with olive oil. Grill for 5 minutes a side, until chargrilled but still slightly crunchy.
- Smash the anchovy fillets with softened butter. Place in a pan to brown slightly, then add the can of drained cannellini beans and sliced red onion. Season to taste.
- Remove from the heat and serve warm spooned over the broccoli.
- Garnish with mint.
Mushrooms with Gorgonzola and breadcrumbs
½ cup breadcrumbs
100 g Gorgonzola
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 T thyme, chopped
4 large brown mushrooms
Olive oil, for drizzling
- Mix breadcrumbs, Gorgonzola, crushed garlic clove, chopped thyme and season.
- Spoon the mixture onto four large brown mushrooms.
- Drizzle with olive oil and bake at 200°C for 15–20 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender and the stuffing is golden.
Feeling inspired to cook your own innovative veggie dishes?