Salads aren’t just for the warm weather months, but when I get my vegetable cravings in the winter I change up my salads with heartier vegetables and ingredients that have warm, smoky flavors, like roasted vegetables and smoked paprika. This Roasted Cauliflower Salad is actually a play on one of my other favorite salads, Mediterranean Farro Salad. I used the same Lemon Tahini dressing (because it’s so good that I want to pour it on everything) and spiced chickpeas because I thought they would provide just the right punch to compliment the mellow roasted cauliflower. I think this combination of roasted cauliflower, sweet red onions, spiced chickpeas, and tangy lemon tahini dressing might be my favorite yet!
I used parsley as the greens in my salad because it’s cheap and the presence is subtle enough to not over power the cauliflower and chickpeas. Baby spinach would also work, as would finely chopped kale, but both will likely be a bit more expensive.
And if you’ve never heard of tahini, it’s just like peanut butter, but made with sesame seeds instead of peanuts. It has a creamy yet slightly sharp flavor that is totally unique. It’s usually about twice the price of peanut butter, but it’s a valuable ingredient and stays good in the fridge for just about forever (just like peanut butter). You can use it to make gobs of delicious homemade hummus, as well as this amazing lemon tahini dressing. I promise you’ll want more of this dressing.
Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing
- 1 head cauliflower $2.99
- ½ red onion $0.55
- 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
- Salt and Pepper to taste $0.05
- ½ bunch parsley $0.45
- ⅓ cup tahini $1.13
- ⅓ cup water $0.00
- ¼ cup lemon juice $0.18
- 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
- ½ tsp cumin $0.05
- ¼ tsp cayenne $0.03
- ¼ tsp salt $0.02
- 15oz. can chickpeas $0.79
- 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.16
- ½ tsp smoked paprika $0.05
- ¼ tsp garlic powder $0.03
- ⅛ tsp cayenne $0.02
- Salt and Pepper to taste $0.05
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Chop the cauliflower into small florets and place them on a large baking sheet. Slice the red onion into ¼-inch strips and place them on the baking sheet. Drizzle the cauliflower and onions with olive oil and season with a pinch or two of salt and pepper. Toss the cauliflower and onions until coated in oil, salt, and pepper.
- Roast the cauliflower and onions in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, then stir, return them to the oven, and roast for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender and browned on the edges. Let the cauliflower cool slightly.
- While the cauliflower and onions are roasting, make the lemon tahini dressing. Add the tahini, water, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, cayenne, and salt to a blender. Blend until smooth, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Drain and rinse the can of chickpeas. Add them to a skillet along with the olive oil, smoked paprika, cayenne, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir and cook the chickpeas over medium heat for about five minutes, or until they sizzle and become slightly crispy. Remove the chickpeas from the heat.
- Pull the parsley leaves from their stems and roughly chop the leaves into small pieces (about 1.5 cups loosely packed, once chopped).
- To build the salad, combine the roasted cauliflower and onions in a bowl with the spiced chickpeas and chopped parsley. Drizzle the lemon tahini dressing over top, and toss to combine. Serve warm or cold.
Step by Step Photos
Begin by preheating the oven to 400ºF. Chop one head of cauliflower into florets. Slice 1/2 of a red onion into 1/4-inch strips. Place the cauliflower and onions on a large baking sheet. Drizzle the vegetables with 2 Tbsp olive oil and a couple pinches of salt and pepper. Toss the vegetables until they are well coated in oil, salt, and pepper.
Roast the cauliflower and onion for 20 minutes, stir, then return them to the oven and roast for another 10-15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender and the edges browned. (the sides touching the baking sheet brown fastest, so you’ll see more browning once you give it a final stir).
While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the lemon tahini dressing. Place 1/3 cup tahini, 1/3 cup water, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp cayenne, and 1/4 tsp salt in a blender. Blend until the dressing is smooth. Refrigerate the dressing until you’re ready to serve the salad.
To prepare the spiced chickpeas, drain and rinse one 15oz. can of chickpeas. Add the drained chickpeas to a skillet along with 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/8 tsp cayenne, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir and cook the chickpeas for about 5 minutes over medium heat or until they begin to sizzle and become slightly crispy on the outside. Remove them from the heat. (I like to do this in a non-stick skillet.)
Pull the leaves from about 1/2 bunch of parsley and chop them into small pieces (about 1.5 cups loosely packed once chopped). To build the salad, combine the roasted cauliflower and onions with the spiced chickpeas and chopped parsley…
Drizzle the lemon tahini dressing over top…
Stir to combine, and enjoy! You can enjoy this Roasted Cauliflower Salad slightly warm from the oven, or chilled after storing in the refrigerator.