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Cauliflower Chickpea Marbella

Cauliflower Steak Marbella with Roasted Chickpeas

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This elegant dish is a vegan riff on the famous Chicken Marbella recipe from The Silver Palate cookbook.  In this recipe the cauliflower steaks and chickpeas are roasted to perfection with golden brown crispy edges for a stunning presentation.  The classic Marbella sauce is thick, sweet, tangy, briny, garlicky, sour and savory all at once.  It is poured overtop the entire dish to drown it in its amazing flavor.  This sophisticated and gourmet plant-based dish is so satisfying and is always a crowd pleaser.


Units Scale

For the Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpeas

  • 2 heads of cauliflower, leaves removed and stem slightly trimmed
  • 1 can garbanzo beans (or 1.5 cups cooked garbanzo beans), drained rinsed and dried
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For the Marbella Sauce

  • 1 cup prunes (divided - 2/3 cup in sauce and 1/3 cup whole)
  • 1/4 extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup red wine (such as Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup pitted green olives, halved
  • 1/4 cup capers, rinsed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)


For the Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and brush two half sheet rimmed baking sheets or a cast iron skillet with 2 tablespoons olive oil.  See notes for parchment paper baking sheet option.
  2. Remove the leaves and stem of the cauliflower but leave the core fully intact.  Place the cauliflower on the cutting board (core up) and cut each cauliflower head vertically through the core into three 3/4-inch thick steaks each.  Allow the ends of the cauliflower to fall off naturally.  You can roast the florets alongside the steaks.
  3. Use a silicone brush to coat all sides and crevices of each cauliflower steak with 4 tablespoons olive oil.  Season both sides of each steak with salt and pepper.  Toss the chickpeas with the olive oil, salt and pepper as well.
  4. Arrange the steaks and chickpeas in a single layer on the baking sheet or cast iron skillet leaving 1-inch around all sides of each steak to prevent them from steaming.  Roast for 30 minutes flipping the cauliflower steaks halfway through until golden brown.  You can broil for an additional minute or two to help it caramelize.

For the Marbella Sauce (while the cauliflower roasts)

  1. Add 2/3 cup prunes, olive oil, wine, garlic, oregano and vinegar to a mini food processor and puree. Add this puree to a saucepan with the olives, capers, bay leaf and remaining prunes and bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes to thicken (stirring occasionally). Add 1/4 cup water to thin the sauce if needed.
  2. To serve, arrange the roasted cauliflower steaks, florets and chickpeas on a platter or individual plates and pour the Marbella sauce overtop. Remove and discard the bay leaf.  Garnish with chopped parsley.  Serve alone or with your favorite grain (mashed potatoes, rice, cous cous, quinoa etc.).


For added healthy fats and plant-based protein, sprinkle hemp seeds overtop the dish.  You can also sprinkle hemp seeds overtop the cauliflower steaks prior to roasting.

For a perfect golden-brown sear, I like to use a cast iron skillet or roast against a bare baking sheet brushed lightly with oil.  If you are worried about the clean-up or the cauliflower steaks sticking to the bare baking sheet you can line the baking sheet with parchment paper but they will not get the golden brown crust.

  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Category: Entree or Side
  • Method: Oven + Stovetop