Although I love all vegetables, cauliflower has a special place in my heart. Without a doubt, cauliflower is one of the most versatile vegetables for vegan cooking. I love cauliflower because I can roast, grill, saute, mash, blend it or serve it raw. Cauliflower, though plain in appearance can be transformed into any dish. So, why not make a roasted cauliflower salad recipe?
When I roast cauliflower, I cook 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 thems bowl.
Because I plan to use a new tahini dressing for this salad, the ingredients for the entire salad need to follow suit.
HOW TO CUT AND PREPARE CAULIFLOWER FOR ROASTED CAULIFLOWER SALAD
First, the cauliflower core needs to be removed by flipping the cauliflower stem side up. Then, using a sharp knife, carefully remove the leave and core.
Next, I flip the cut the cauliflower into steaks before I cut it into florets.
This process, for instance, makes it easier to get the same sized cauliflower florets, so they cook evenly when roasted.
ROASTING THE CAULIFLOWER, CHICKPEAS AND RED ONIONS ON ONE-PAN!
In order to save time doing dishes, roast all the roasted ingredients on one pan. Once the cauliflower is cut into florets, I also slice the red onion, then I 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, I leave a space on my 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 MAKE PERFECT QUINOA FOR ROASTED CAULIFLOWER SALAD OR ANYTIME!
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, quinoa should be rinsed before using. Similar to 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, you add the quinoa and the water together in the pan BEFORE you heat the water. Stir together and then add a small amount of salt, 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 fo the pan, you will have perfectly cooked quinoa. Now, fluff with a fork and it can be used immediately, or you can refrigerate until ready to use.
PICKING YOUR GREENS FOR THE 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 suggest a heartier Romaine lettuce, since the salad is partially warm. Regardless of which green you choose as the base, I also add fresh parsley.
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.
IT'S ALL ABOUT DRESSING...THE FINISHING TOUCH ON THE CAULIFLOWER SALAD
Even though I tahini for my Oil-Free Baked Falafel Salad with Lemony Tahini Dressing, this recipe is unique. Instead of using a tahini lemon juice base, I add apple cider vinegar to give it an added 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.
HELPFUL COOKING TIPS...
Another helpful hint about making any dressing using tahini is to add the tahini LAST! Then, the tahini won't stick int eh bottom of the blender cup. Since I appreciate any and all cooking tips, I thought you may appreciate this one.
As a matter of fact, all sticky ingredients, like peanut butter or almond butter should always be added last.
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, I section it off, but I also have served 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 hot, 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 as much as I do, give these salads a try. All these salad travel well.
- Skinny Vegan Waldorf Salad
- Skinny Vegan Rainbow Salad
- Quinoa Greek Salad with OMG Oil-Free Dressing
- Kale Harvest Salad with Skinny Roasted Pumpkin Vinaigrette
- Skinny Vegan Caesar Salad
- The Skinny Good Earth Kale Salad
- Skinny 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! 🙂