Grilled Cauliflower and Chard Tacos with Roasted Garlic

These earthy tacos feature fire-roasted tomato salsa with smoky chipotle chiles and roasted garlic. The cauliflower is browned on the grill, and the fresh red chard is rendered crispy by the high heat. Wrap it all in a grilled corn tortilla, top with crumbled goat cheese, and prepare yourself for the perfect bite.

By Russ Faulk, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet
Serves 4, Yields 12 Tacos
Image of Grilled Cauliflower and Chard Tacos with Roasted Garlic

  • 3 whole heads of garlic plus 2 cloves
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 4 medium size vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 1 chipotle chile from a can plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 1/2 ounce fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 ounce freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • 2 medium size heads of cauliflower
  • 4 leaves red chard, washed and thoroughly dried
  • 12 soft white corn tortillas (or 24 if they are thin because you’ll want to double them up)
  • 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
  • Kosher salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Prepare the grill for multi-zone grilling with a HIGH heat direct zone and an indirect zone at between 350 and 400°F.

Cut the tops off the 3 heads of garlic. Drizzle olive oil over the top and season generously with salt. Place the garlic in the indirect zone of the grill with the cut sides facing upward. Close the grill, and roast until browned and soft, about 25 minutes, rotating a couple of times. (You can also use the pizza oven to roast garlic. See this recipe for instructions.) Remove the roasted garlic from the grill and let cool.

To make the fire-roasted tomato salsa, cut the onion into 1/2 inch thick slices. Brush generously with olive oil and season with salt. Place the onion and tomatoes in the direct zone. Grill over HIGH heat, turning occasionally, until the onion slices are browned and soft, and the tomatoes are blistered all over and heated through, about 12 minutes. Remove from the grill and transfer to a food processor (or a blender).

Add the chipotle, adobo sauce, cilantro and lime juice to the food processor bowl. Peel the 2 raw cloves of garlic. Add those and 1 teaspoon of salt. Process to a semi-smooth consistency and check the seasoning. Add more salt or lime juice as needed. Reserve.

Cut the bases out of the cauliflower heads and discard. Slice the heads into cauliflower “steaks” about 1 inch thick. Brush generously with olive oil and season liberally with salt. Cook directly over HIGH heat until marked by the grill, flipping once, about 2 minutes per side. Move to the indirect zone, close the grill, and roast for about 25 minutes, flipping once.

While the cauliflower is grilling, extract the roasted garlic cloves from the cooled heads. Reserve. Lightly brush the red chard with olive oil. Reserve.

The cauliflower should be golden brown with a nice crunch. Remove from the grill and reserve between two heavy metal half sheet pans placed together like a clam shell to keep warm.

Lightly grill the corn tortillas on both sides in the direct zone of the grill. Reserve between the same half sheet pans to keep warm.

Grill the oiled red chard in the direct zone over HIGH heat, flipping once, until the edges turn brown and crispy/flaky, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into strips.

Fill the tortillas with cauliflower, cutting it into smaller pieces as needed. Add the chard and roasted garlic cloves to the tacos, then spoon in the fire-roasted tomato salsa. Sprinkle crumbled goat cheese over the top and enjoy!

Tip: The warming rack in the Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire Grill is a great place to roast vegetables, including the cauliflower in this recipe. Mark the cauliflower on the hot grill grate in the direct zone, then move to the warming rack above the direct zone and close the grill for even browning. The heat on the ample warming rack of a Kalamazoo grill is more gentle and indirect than the heat down at the grill grate, but it can be far hotter than you would find in most other brands of gas grill.