Main Meals

April 13, 2022

Pesto Cauliflower Steaks with Smashed Sweet Potatoes

I don't quite know how I came up with this recipe. I think it was one of those dinner times when I wasn't sure what I fancied, and I just combined a few different meals into one, but boy-oh-boy does it really work. It's quite a mix of different flavours, and when you're reading the title, I agree that it sounds like a bit of a mouthful (excuse the pun!) Smashed sweet potatoes, with garlicky cauliflower steaks, with a balsamic-coated mixture of chickpeas and vegetarian bacon cubes, finished with a homemade fresh pesto...I will agree with you and say it's a lot. But when you get a bite of everything together..ugh it's so delicious. It's a bright explosion in your mouth, and it's ready in under 40 minutes.

smashed sweet potatoes and cauliflower steaks on a square baking tray on wire cooling rack
Pesto Cauliflower Steaks with Smashed Sweet Potatoes

Trying Something New

If you're a lover or sweet potatoes, then 1.) put your hands right up and 2.) tell me whether you have tried smashing them yet. And by smashing, I honestly and quite literally mean smashing them down so that the inside bursts out of the jacket. If you haven't then you're onto something new here. The only way I can describe it to you is like mashed sweet potato, with the crispiness and charred-flavour of the golden baked skin, and drizzled with some fresh lime juice, it's particularly outstanding. Prepare to get a little messy, but the fun of doing it is also quite therapeutic and just worth a try. And for many, this could be one of the first times you mix chickpeas and veggie bacon with cumin seeds and balsamic vinegar but, again, it's a winning combination, and they all just work so well together.

pesto cauliflower steaks with smashed sweet potatoes on a baking tray
Smashed Sweet Potatoes, Garlicky Cauliflower Steaks with balsamic-coated chickpeas and veggie bacon, fresh pesto sauce and crumbled feta cheese

I strongly urge you to give this recipe a go, and it's a particularly great dish to prepare and enjoy with friends. You'll never know until you try...

Pesto Cauliflower Steaks with Smashed Sweet Potatoes

This recipe is fantastically unusual and brilliantly colourful, and everything just tastes so good. Smashed sweet potatoes, with cauliflower steaks, balsamic chickpeas and bacon cubes, with fresh pesto - it sounds wild, but it's SO GOOD!!











  • 2 medium cauliflowers, cut into steak slices
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 60g fresh basil
  • 150ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 40g pine nuts
  • 2 handfuls fresh spinach
  • 75 parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3 tbsp greek yoghurt
  • 150g vegetarian bacon rashers, chopped
  • 200g chickpeas
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 3-6 tbsp lime juice
  • 100g feta cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C / Fan 180°C / 400°F / Gas Mark 6.
  2. Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork all over and cook each one in the microwave for four minutes. Then place the potatoes on a baking tray with some drizzled oil and sprinkled salt and pepper and bake for roughly 20-25 minutes, until the potatoes are soft inside and the skin has turned slightly crispy and golden.
  3. On another baking tray, lay out the cauliflower steaks and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle over the garlic granules, dried oregano and dried rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven to cook for 15-20 minutes, until the cauliflower has browned slightly and is soft to the touch.
  4. In a small processor, blend together the basil leaves and stalks (you might just want to cut off the ends slightly), 150ml olive oil, garlic cloves, pine nuts, fresh spinach, grated parmesan and the greek yoghurt until everything is combined the the sauce is smooth. Season with salt and pepper if you would like to.
  5. In a large saucepan or a wok, heat a tablespoon of oil and cook the bacon rashers and chickpeas for 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle over the cumin seeds and drizzle over the balsamic vinegar and give everything a good mix.
  6. On a plate, use the end of a rolling pin to (gently) smash the sweet potato. Trickle over a tablespoon or two of the lime juice and lay one of the cauliflower steaks on top (or two if you're particularly hungry!). Add a couple of spoonfuls of the bacon and chickpea mixture, and finish with the fresh pesto. Crumble over the feta cheese and you're good to go.
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Monday, August 9, 2021
Vivien Christie
this version of veggie nachos is so tasty, we have it every time we entertain family and friends. It's a staple recipe, and so easy to make, you must try it!