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The Veggie Ottolenghi Uses As A Steak Swap — And It's Not Cauliflower

Eliza Sullivan
Food Writer
By Eliza Sullivan
Food Writer
Eliza Sullivan is a food writer and SEO editor at mindbodygreen. She writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She studied journalism at Boston University.
Image by Jonathan Lovekin / Contributor
October 16, 2020
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You've heard of, and maybe even had, a cauliflower steak—but the whole veggie swaps for meats don't stop there. This recipe, from iconic chef Yotam Ottoleghi's new plant-based cooking tome Ottolenghi Flavor, utilizes a lesser-known fall vegetable as the core of this vegan main dish.

Written together with Ixta Belfrage, a recipe developer at Ottolenghi Test Kitchen, the book is chock-full of dinner-party-worthy vegan recipes like these rutabaga steaks. Rutabaga, if you're not familiar, is a vegetable similar to a turnip that's generally in season from October to March. Like other root vegetables, they are most often eaten roasted or even in a mash, but this preparation opts for the former.

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Because its flavor is actually a bit more mild than a turnip, especially when roasted, rutabagas are an ideal candidate for a spice-heavy recipe—something Ottolenghi and Belfrage take full advantage of with the curry crust they've created here. It's made up largely of garlic, cayenne, turmeric, and fenugreek seeds, which have a powerful flavor reminiscent of maple but slightly more bitter and are known to provide health benefits.

While we may not be having dinner parties at the moment, we'll be bookmarking this showstopper for when we can again—and until then, we may just have to make this for ourselves on Saturday night.

Curry-Crusted Rutabaga Steaks

Serves 4 as a main


  • 4½ tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • 6 small garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1½ tsp. ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ¾ tsp. table salt
  • 2 to 3 rutabagas, peeled and cut crosswise into eight 1¼-inch-/3-cm-thick steaks
  • 3 to 4 ruby grapefruits
  • 1 to 2 shallots, finely sliced on a mandoline, if you have one, or by hand
  • 2 red chilies, finely sliced into rounds
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • Table salt
  • ½ cup crème fraîche (or coconut yogurt)
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
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  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F/180°C fan. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. For the marinade: In a spice grinder or the bowl of a small food processor, combine the fenugreek seeds, garlic, cayenne, turmeric, sugar, lime juice, olive oil, and salt and blitz to a paste, scraping the sides as you go if necessary. Put 2 tsp. of the marinade into a small serving bowl and set aside.
  3. Put the remaining marinade into a large bowl with the rutabaga steaks and mix well to coat all sides (this is easiest with gloved hands). Place the steaks, spaced apart, on the prepared baking sheet. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and roast for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Remove the foil, turn the oven to the broil setting, and broil for 3 to 4 minutes, until the rutabaga is cooked through and the marinade has turned into a golden-brown crust.
  4. For the salad: When the rutabaga is nearly cooked, cut the grapefruits into thin wedges by removing the skin and the white pith, then release the segments by cutting in between the white membrane, discarding any seeds. Put the wedges into a large bowl, avoiding the juice (which can be kept for another use).
  5. When you're ready to serve, add the shallots, chilies, mint, cilantro, olive oil, and lime juice to the bowl with a generous pinch of salt and mix gently together.
  6. Arrange the steaks and any marinade left on the baking sheet on a large platter with the salad (or plate individually). Swirl the crème fraîche into the reserved marinade and serve alongside the steaks, and squeeze the lime wedges over the top.
Reprinted from Ottolenghi Flavor. Copyright © 2020 by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage. Photographs copyright © 2020 by Jonathan Lovekin. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
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Eliza Sullivan
Eliza Sullivan
Food Writer

Eliza Sullivan is an SEO Editor at mindbodygreen, where she writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She received a B.S. in journalism and B.A. in english literature with honors from Boston University, and she has previously written for Boston Magazine,, and SUITCASE magazine.