mediterranean roasted cauliflower salad

There’s been an abundance of cauliflower recipes buzzing around on the internet: Everything from pizza bases to fried rice & wait…what…buffalo “chicken wings”. I have baulked at these alternative ways to use this brassica as a low carb & gluten-free alternative. I’m not good at following the masses, I tend to rebel a little. However, let’s be honest here, I am a very curious creature so I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Could a pizza base made from cauliflower really be as good as so many were saying. I was skeptical. I bought two cauliflowers – one to test the recipe & another just in case I really liked my creation & wanted to share the recipe with you, not that the internet needs another cauliflower pizza recipe. You noticed the name of this recipe didn’t you? It’s a salad. That should tell you something about my findings…

roasted cauliflower salad

This Mediterranean roasted cauliflower salad was very yummy! Sadly, the cauliflower pizza base…not so much. And I even jazzed it up with other ingredients. Seriously, THIS was what all the fuss was about. I’ve never liked things (or people) masquerading as something they’re not. Because even with a good imagination, this was never going to be even close to as good as the worst pizza you’ve ever eaten. The pizza tasted like…well, it tasted like cauliflower. And the texture was like…well it was like cauliflower. This salad however, looked & tasted like cauliflower…but it was supposed to. 

cauliflower salad

Imagine this salad if you may, sprinkled with feta cheese (instead of the cheese sitting on my kitchen counter). The recipe was ridiculously simple: I roasted the cauliflower in a hot oven so it was cooked but still crunchy – if that makes sense. Then I added sundried tomatoes, fresh oregano, olives, feta, lemon juice, capers, garlic & olive oil & served it cold. 

roasted cal

I’m sure there’s several thousands of really pissed-off Paleo dieters & low-carbers in Canada right now that think paying 8 bucks for a flipping cauliflower is a little steep. And I don’t blame them but look at it this way – if you choose not to buy it until the price comes down, your house will smell better for awhile. My husband loves broccoli but I rarely cook it because I can’t stand how it makes the house stink. Cooking brassica veggies equals a smelly house! 

mediterranean roasted cauliflower salad

I don’t mean to cap on others that love this veg, especially for those who can’t eat gluten & want something to replace their wheat flour pizza bases but there’s gluten-free everything available now. And low carb lovers, all I can say is – good for you. I’m dieting & there’s so many really beautiful veggies out there I prefer to eat. I guess there goes the big cauliflower contract I was about to obtain. Oh well, you can’t win them all. Serve this interesting salad with some roasted chicken, grilled steak or lamb chops. Or just enjoy a bowl of it on its own like I did. Simple. Real food. Boldly flavored. 

cauliflower salad

mediterranean roasted cauliflower salad
Serves 4
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  1. 1 large head of cauliflower
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  4. 1 teaspoon crushed dried chilies (crushed red pepper)
  5. salt & freshly ground pepper
  6. 2 tablespoons roughly chopped oregano, plus extra leaves for garnish
  7. 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes in oil, drained & cut into strips
  8. 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
  9. 2 tablespoons capers (coarsely chopped if they’re not tiny)
  10. 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  11. 1 garlic clove, crushed
  12. 4 oz (113g) feta cheese, crumbled
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Remove leaves, core and thick stems from cauliflower, break or cut cauliflower into florets. Place on baking sheet; drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add cumin, chilies, salt & pepper; toss to coat. Roast for 15 minutes or until cauliflower has browned a little on the bottom but is still a little crisp.
  3. Add oregano, tomatoes, olives & capers to the hot cauliflower & toss to combine: leave to cool.
  4. Whisk lemon juice, 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil (depending on size of cauliflower), garlic & a pinch of salt & pepper in a large bowl. Add cauliflower mixture & toss to coat.
  5. Place on serving platter; sprinkle with extra oregano leaves & feta (in my sheer brilliance I completely spaced out & left the feta sitting on the counter. I added it later after I’d packed all the camera gear away, make sure you add it to the recipe though).
The Fresh Aussie http://thefreshaussie.com/
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