Dried apricots, olives, and toasted nuts fill this cauliflower salad with contrasting textures and flavors. A delicious side dish or make-ahead lunch!
This roasted cauliflower salad will brighten up any winter day! At least, that’s what I tell myself as I seriously consider getting one of those vitamin D lamps. Have any of you ever tried one? These 4:30 Chicago sunsets really take some getting used to.
Anyway, back to the cauliflower salad! I was going to save this recipe to post in January. You know, once everyone wants to get healthy and eat vegetables again… but then I realized that you’re all here because you love vegetables, holidays or not! This hearty cauliflower salad could double as a holiday side dish (I’m bringing it to Christmas dinner) and as an everyday veggie meal (I love it for lunch). It’s packed with contrasting textures and flavors, and it really is energizing and bright. I plan to have it on repeat all winter long.
Cauliflower Salad Recipe Ingredients
This cauliflower salad recipe has quite a few components, but don’t let them scare you! All of them can be made in advance for speedy assembly, and each one adds something essential to the salad. Here’s what’s in it:
- Cauliflower, of course! Instead of adding raw cauliflower to the salad, I roast it until it’s tender, nutty, and golden brown.
- French green lentils – They add earthy flavor and plenty of plant-based protein. To brighten them up, I season them with lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon mustard, and a good bit of sea salt and pepper.
- Pickled red onions and olives – For a bright pop of flavor! If you’re not an olive person, capers would be great here too.
- Tahini sauce – It’s creamy, nutty, and bright.
- Toasted nuts – For crunch! I like pine nuts and sliced almonds. Pepitas are a great nut-free option.
- Dried apricots – I love how their sweet flavor plays off the bright, briny onions and olives. Medjool dates would work nicely too!
- And arugula – For a peppery kick and a touch of green.
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
Cauliflower Salad Serving Suggestions
I’ve eaten this cauliflower salad recipe three ways: with piping hot cauliflower, at room temperature, and cold from the fridge. All are delicious! It keeps well for a few days, so it’s one of my favorite recipes to make ahead for lunch (find more here!). Enjoy it on its own, or pair it with pita or a Chickpea Salad Sandwich for a heartier meal.
More Favorite Salad Recipes
If you love this cauliflower salad recipe, try one of these delicious salads next:
- Best Broccoli Salad
- Kale Salad with Carrot-Ginger Dressing
- Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad
- Green Bean Salad
- Sweet Potato Salad
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- Or any of these 37 Best Salad Recipes!
Roasted Cauliflower Salad
- Florets from 1 small head of cauliflower
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- 2 cups arugula
- 1/2 cup cooked Lemon-Herb French Green Lentils
- Lemon wedges, for squeezing and serving
- 1/2 cup Tahini Sauce
- ¼ cup Pickled Onions
- ¼ cup pine nuts, sliced almonds, or pepitas
- 4 dried apricots or dates, diced
- ¼ cup chopped olives or 1 tablespoon capers
- Microgreens, optional
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Roast the cauliflower. Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the cauliflower florets with drizzles of olive oil and pinches of salt and pepper and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until browned around the edges.
- In a medium bowl, toss the arugula and roasted cauliflower with a drizzle with olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, and a pinch of salt. Spread onto a platter and drizzle ⅓ of the tahini sauce on top. Sprinkle on the lentils, the pickled onions, pine nuts, apricots, and olives. Drizzle with the remaining tahini dressing (or as much as you like) and top with microgreens, if using. Season to taste and serve.