Warm salads should be a thing. There aren’t enough of them in this world. Cauliflower Salad can be served warm or at room temp, making it a perfect dish for buffets, potlucks, and your Thanksgiving table.
Plus, it makes the vegans, vegetarians, and even the carnivores in your life happy.
Cauliflower is kind of the tofu of the vegetable world. It is pretty bland on it’s own but it plays well with all kinds of flavors, spices, and other veggies. Think of it as an empty page waiting to be written upon.
So, are you surprised then that cauliflower is the star of the show in this recipe? I was.
But! If you’ve been paying attention to the food world, you’ve most likely seen cauliflower crust pizza, cauliflower rice, and cauliflower mash. Is there anything cauliflower can’t do?
This recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks, Simple. Chef Yotam Ottolenghi keeps it simple while also taking it to the next level by combining roasted and raw cauliflower together in the same dish. Genius and delicious.
Another fresh item that has skyrocketed in food world popularity over the past decade: pomegranates. Their leathery burgundy skin covers a web of spongy whiteness that houses the red, jewel-like seeds. A symbolic fruit in the ancient world, pomegranates appear regularly in the history of ancient Egypt, the Bible’s Old Testament, and Greek mythology.
Fun fact: when I was a girl I named one of my baby dolls Persephone.
It’s easy to find fresh pomegranates at most grocery stores in the fall months. Now, you can also buy small containers of just the arils (seeds) and bottles of the juice. That was unheard of in the days when I was still toting around my Persephone.
Pomegranate seeds are like fruit jewelry. They make a pretty garnish for both savory and sweet dishes. They are gorgeous on yogurt, oatmeal, chicken and fish dishes, desserts, and salads like the one featured here.
- Don’t overcook the florets. You want them tender but not mushy. Nice brown edges are a plus.
- The original recipe includes roasting the cauliflower’s green leaves. They develop a crisp edge when roasted. But depending on the head you buy, there may not be leafy leaves to roast.
- Weirded out by the kumquats or can’t obtain them? Leave them out. The salad is still delicious without them.
- 1 large cauliflower
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup parsley, chopped
- ½ cup mint, chopped
- ½ cup pomegranate arils
- Handful of kumquats, sliced into halves
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- Prepare a rimmed baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 425 F/218 C.
- Make the roasted cauliflower by dividing the cauliflower head into thirds. Break two-thirds into bite-size florets. Add the florets and the onion to the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with some salt. Roast for 20 minutes until tender and starting to brown at the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Take the remaining one-third of the cauliflower and grate it on a box grater or food processor until it resembles rice. Add the cooled roasted cauliflower, parsley, and mint.
- Make the vinaigrette by combining the lemon juice, oil, cumin, salt, and pepper in a small mason jar. Screw on the lid and shake to thoroughly combine. Pour the vinaigrette over the cauliflower mixture and toss to combine.
- Place the mixture on a platter or in a shallow serving bowl. Scatter the pomegranate arils and kumquat halves over the top before serving. This can be served just warm or at room temperature.
Keywords: cauliflower salad