Although I love all vegetables, cauliflower has a special place in my heart. Without a doubt, cauliflower versatility transformed my vegan cooking. So, tonight I decided to make a roasted cauliflower salad loaded with savory favorites. I love cauliflower because I can roast, grill, saute, mash, blend it or serve it raw. In addition, cauliflower, although plain in appearance, transforms when added to any dish. And tonight, I'm making a roasted cauliflower salad recipe served warm and drizzled with tahini dressing.
When I roast cauliflower, I prefer my cauliflower al dente, so it still has a little crunch on the outside. I also want the cauliflower to absorb the spices I chose for this Mediterranean-themed salad.
Because I plan to use a tahini dressing for this salad, I selected savory ingredients for the cauliflower salad.
How to cut and prepare cauliflower
First, remove the cauliflower core by flipping the cauliflower stem side up. Then, using a sharp knife, carefully remove the leave and core.
Next, flip the cauliflower over, stem up, and cut the cauliflower into steaks before cutting it into florets.
This process, for instance, makes it easier to get the same sized cauliflower florets, so they cook evenly when roasted.
How to roast cauliflower for roasted cauliflower salad
To save time doing dishes, roast all the roasted ingredients in one pan. Once the cauliflower is cut into florets, slice the red onion, then combine the two in a bowl to season them together before roasting in the oven.
Next, I prepare the seasoned chickpeas in a separate bowl. Since the cauliflower and onions take twice as long to roast, leave a space on the pan to add the chickpeas to roast halfway through cooking the cauliflower and onions.
Now, all the roasted ingredients are done at the same time using one pan.
How to prepare quinoa perfectly every time!
I love quinoa, especially red quinoa! Quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids, which makes it a complete protein. It is also a great wheat-free alternative to grains. Without a doubt, this is my favorite SUPERFOOD, and when people ask where do I get my protein, I say QUINOA!
As you can tell from many of my previous posts, I cook quinoa a lot. And although quinoa is easy to cook, for some reason, a lot of people struggle. So, here is a simply perfect way to cook quinoa without any fancy directions.
Sometimes, I think maybe we overthink the easiest of recipes, and that's why we make a mistake.
First and foremost, rinse quinoa before cooking.
Like lentils, which also require rinsing, quinoa sometimes has debris that needs to be washed away. The measurements, though simple to remember, are 1 part quinoa, 2 parts water.
Secondly, add the quinoa and the water together in the pan BEFORE heating the water. Finally, stir the water and quinoa together, add a small salt amount, and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, cover and reduce to simmer, and cook for 15 minutes! Yep, 15 minutes; that's it. Remove from the heat, and then leave for 5 minutes covered. When you remove the top of the pan, you will have perfectly cooked quinoa. Now, fluff with a fork, and use immediately, or you can refrigerate until ready to use.
What greens go into roasted cauliflower salad?
I'm a huge kale fan, so of course, that is my first choice in greens. But, a variety of greens work perfectly well for this cauliflower salad recipe. Spinach, for example, works well, as does arugula if you want a more peppery blend. If you enjoy lettuce, I would also suggest a heartier Romaine lettuce. Regardless of which greens you choose as the base, I also add fresh parsley.
Today, however, I chose Romain lettuce for my roasted cauliflower salad recipe.
Parsley adds a fresh brightens and balances savory dishes. Although mildly bitter, when pairs with lemon juice in the dressing, it makes the whole salad taste fabulous.
Dressing the roasted cauliflower salad recipe
This recipe is unique even though I tahini for my Oil-Free Baked Falafel Salad with Lemony Tahini Dressing.
Instead of using my typical tahini dressing, I add apple cider vinegar to add tang! My new version of tahini dressing, with added acidity, is perfect for any salad!
And you can make the dressing ahead in a high-speed blender and use it when ready. Without a doubt, this dressing is on my new favorites list.
- Another helpful hint about making any dressing using tahini is to add the tahini LAST! Then, the tahini won't stick in the bottom of the blender cup. Since I appreciate any cooking tips, I thought you might appreciate this one.
- Or, run hot water through the blender container before adding any sticky ingredients.
- Prepare the quinoa while the cauliflower and other ingredients roast, remove frot, heat, and fluff, and keep the top on the pan to keep the quinoa warm.
- Use a citrus squeezer or juicer when juicing lemons into a dressing to prevent seeds from getting into the dressing.
- Dress individual salads; the dressing should be drizzled, not tossed, as the earthy flavors from the other ingredients don't require much dressing.
Another suggestion is to add the dressing to a squeeze-type bottle to drizzle over the salad instead of pouring it. The flavors complement the salad ingredients but shouldn't be drowning in dressing. A little goes a long way.
When I serve the salad, arrange the ingredients on top of the quinoa, or serve it tossed together. Again, this is a preference. However, you enjoy your salad, serve it accordingly.
Even though I served roasted cauliflower salad half cold and half warm, the salad is just as fabulous cold. As a result, leftovers for lunch are a must! In fact, I like it better the next day to take to work. Whenever I make dinner, I always think about lunch the next day.
Regardless if you eat your salads at dinner, lunch, or even breakfast, enjoy a variety! Remember, greens are nutrient-dense; the more you eat, the better. Creative salad preparation makes meals easy to make and take on the go.
If you love salads, give these salads a try. All these salads travel well.
- Vegan Waldorf Salad
- Vegan Rainbow Salad
- Quinoa Greek Salad with OMG Oil-Free Dressing
- Kale Harvest Salad with Skinny Roasted Pumpkin Vinaigrette
- Vegan Caesar Salad
- The Good Earth Kale Salad
- Buffalo Cauliflower Salad with Cashew Ranch Dressing
- Vegan Chicken Salad
- Chickpea Tuna Salad
- Fattoush Salad
- Healthy Lentil Fattoush Salad
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂