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cauliflower power

Recipe: roasted cauliflower salad

Happy Year of the Snake, everyone! Gong xi fa tsai! I hope you had a good weekend, if not a festive one. Up until dinner Saturday night, it was non-stop cooking and cleaning over here. Even Kaweah got her nails trimmed and filed, ears cleaned, and coat brushed. Boy, was she happy when her “spa day” was over as she kept trying to slink away. It snowed on and off all weekend. It was nothing like what the East Coast got (color me a little jeals), but enough to paint our world white. Once Jeremy and I sat down to dinner and all of the special foods for the New Year’s Eve feast, we could finally relax. Sunday is merely a continuation of the feast, but thankfully, we don’t celebrate for the full two weeks. Two days are plenty for me! I’m ready for quick and simple fare again.

I have every intention of revisiting a wonderful recipe that my friend, Denise, served at a gathering she hosted last month. I had three helpings. It was a roasted cauliflower salad. Per my request, she emailed me the recipe (which she modified from Whole Living’s January 2013 issue) and I immediately made it and proceeded to consume most of it.

cauliflower, parsley, oranges, kalamata olives, white wine vinegar, salt, pepper, olive oil

Cauliflower and I go way back. Waaaay back. I grew up loving vegetables because my family prepared them well. Cauliflower and broccoli were two of my favorites because they looked like trees. They’re beautiful as well as earthy with a hint of bitter. When roasted, cauliflower takes on a delightful nuttiness that I can’t get enough of.

cut the head into 1/2-inch thick slices

arrange on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil

season with salt and pepper

While the cauliflower roasts in the oven, you can busy yourself with supreming the oranges. Actually, the original recipe calls for the use of clementines, but Denise and I both agree that supreming navel or juice oranges results in a nicer presentation. Zest the oranges first, then cut away the pith and slice out the segments. You’ll be left with the core and membrane, but don’t toss those out! There is still good juice to be had, so be sure to squeeze that out into a bowl to snazzy up the dressing.

cut away the pith after zesting the orange peel

carefully cut the orange segments out

squeeze any bit of juice out

After flipping the cauliflower slices over once, they should be done when they roast to a golden brown color. You can smell how lovely the cauliflower becomes while it’s roasting. Remove them from the oven and arrange on a serving platter or break them up into smaller pieces and place in a large bowl.


arrange them on a platter

add the orange slices and kalamata olives

The dressing is quite light and there isn’t much of it. You don’t really need a lot as everything in the salad lends sweet, acid, briny, herbal, and nutty components. However, I really think the extra juices from the cores of the oranges is a nice bonus to the flavor.

whisk the dressing together

chop the parsley

drizzle over the salad

See what I mean? It’s quick. It took me 30 minutes to prep and cook, although I’m not counting the time to photograph the steps. More than that, it’s a lovely salad and it tastes SO GOOD. Jeremy wrinkles his nose at cauliflower, but after he sampled what was left (well, what I hadn’t scarfed down yet) he wound up finishing the rest. Convert. I think even if you dislike cauliflower, give this one a try. It transforms into something so pleasant when roasted that it deserves a chance at your table. And it’s good for you!

fresh, bright, and pretty

a lovely and easy recipe for entertaining too

Roasted Cauliflower Salad
[print recipe]
from Whole Living magazine (January 2013 issue) via Eat Play Love

1 head cauliflower, leaves trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch thick slabs
3 tbsps olive oil
coarse salt
fresh ground black pepper
2 oranges, zested and supremed (I used organic navels, but clementines are in the original recipe)
1/4 cup Kalamata olives
1 tsp white wine vinegar
any extra juice from the cores of the oranges
2 tbsps fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 450°F. Arrange the cauliflower slices on a baking sheet (I lined mine with foil). Brush 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the cauliflower and then season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, the flip the cauliflower over and roast another 10 minutes or until the pieces turn golden. Remove from oven and arrange the cauliflower on a serving platter. Distribute the orange segments and olives over the cauliflower. Whisk the vinegar, zest, extra juices from the orange cores, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil together. Drizzle the dressing over the cauliflower. Sprinkle the parsley over the salad. Serves 4-6.

more goodness from the use real butter archives

kale pepita cranberry salad roasted butternut squash with moroccan spices pomegranate orange jicama salad broccoli salad

25 nibbles at “cauliflower power”

  1. Lori D says:

    Wow! Beautiful! Can’t wait to try it! Love the mix-matched little salad plates too :)

  2. Roasted Cauliflower And Orange Salad | Rogi says:

    […] looks good, and quick and easy; roasted cauliflower salad recipe | use real butter. Share this:FacebookTwitterGoogle +1Like this:LikeBe the first to like this. Tags: cauliflower, […]

  3. Nina, Brittany says:

    Gong Xi Fa Cai ! You make cauliflower look so pretty and appealing to the palate. Must give it a go and see if I can convert my kids :)

  4. Mrs Ergul says:

    What a lovely salad to make with cauliflower! I am gonna make them when entertaining my friend who ain’t a fan!

  5. Fabiana Del Nero says:

    It works well also with anchovies and capers….mediterranean flavors!!!

  6. debbie says:

    I’m not one for cauliflower but I am going to try this. It really looks delicious…..

  7. Kristin says:

    Oh hooray! I have half a head sitting in the frige & oranges & I always have the rest of the stuff, except the parsley, but I will dig around & see if there is some still living in my garden. Lunch! Thanks so much!

  8. Maho says:

    Now I know what it feels like to see something you want to make on a blog, and discover you have every single item in the fridge. I was going to make cauliflower flan, but your post today is what I call a divine intervention!
    I often roast cauliflowers, but never thought of slicing them as a whole. More surface area=more caramelization. How clever… Thanks Jennifer!

  9. debbie says:

    Sounds YUMMY. I love cauliflower!
    Just posted a cauliflower soup recipe on my blog!

  10. Brian @ A Thought For Food says:

    I can’t wait to try this… the olives and oranges have me intrigued. I bet it’s amazing.

  11. Abbe@This is How I Cook says:

    Love cauliflower-but I refuse to pay $1.99 a pound when I can get one at the Asian market for $1.38. Why is cauliflower so much or is it just me? Either way you are right. It makes a great meal.

  12. Anna says:

    Oh, I love roasted cauliflower! The orange sounds delicious. Sometimes I roast the cauliflower with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and finish with lemon zest. I could eat a whole head! This recipe is also terrific when I have more time to cook:

  13. M. K. says:

    Am stressing out about an upcoming luncheon chez moi. This sounds/looks delish. Do you think it can be made ahead of time and served at room temperature?

  14. Mari@OnceUponaPlate says:

    That is one gorgeous salad, and healthful too. You always present everything so beautifully ~ I want some right now!
    Wishing you a happy new year, thanks for all that you share.

  15. Shari says:

    I love roasted vegetables! This looks wonderful and refreshing. You do such a great job at the pictures!
    This one I have to make, thank you!

  16. Jen says:

    I LOVE roasted cauliflower! it almost tastes like popcorn to me. I will be trying this soon!

  17. Valerie says:

    This is a surprising combination of ingredients, but it’s definitely intriguing. I’d love to try it!

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  19. diary of a tomato says:

    Can’t wait for cauliflower season to come back around, which may be a ways to go here in Maine ;)

  20. Bernadette @ Now Stir It Up says:

    This is so beautiful. The colors!!! It would be great for entertaining.

  21. jenyu says:

    Lori – thanks! It’s mostly because I only have one of several kinds of plates ;)

    Fabiana – oooh, I’m going to try that next time!

    debbie – it’s not like most cauliflower, I assure you. I hope you like it!

    Kristin – I’m jealous. You said garden.

    Maho – okay, cauliflower flan sounds damn good too!

    debbie – I like the soup too :)

    Brian – it’s a nice balance of nutty, sweet, tang, and salt!

    Abbe – my cauliflower costs more because I buy organic. Produce tends to be cheaper at Asian grocery stores, but it’s harder to find them organic.

    Anna – yup, Deb has so many awesome recipes. I love her site.

    M.K. – yes, absolutely.

    Mari – thank you!

    Shari – I hope you like it!

    Jen – me too :)

    Valerie – my reaction too at first, but it’s *awesome* :)

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  23. Anne says:

    THANK YOU for re-doing this recipe! This dish is amazing and delicious and I lost my issue of the magazine a long time ago. Try it – it is outstanding!! I can’t wait to make it again soon.

  24. Ann says:

    Are you serving this warm or room temp? Thanks

  25. jenyu says:

    Ann – I serve it room temp.

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