This Roasted Green Cauliflower Salad is quick to make; it’s a combination of roasted green cauliflower, salad greens, multi-colored small tomatoes and cheese.
When I create a salad, I always go through the following thinking process.
- Is the salad as side dish or is it a meal salad? When it is a side dish, the ingredients are going to be light and volume will be less then when it is a main dish. For a meal salad, I usually add some proteins, like cheese, chicken, meat, egg, fish or nuts and seeds. More additions could be a grain, like farro, rice, pasta, couscous, etc. Can I add fruit? Or can and do I want to use all of the options?
- What is the temperature of the salad? Do I serve it warm or cold or in between? The latter is for when I don’t have the patience or time to wait, but in reality, I like salads with warm or warmer components.
- How well do the flavors go together? Here I can honestly say, that not all combinations you thought of, will work well together in practice. That’s why every now and then we need to make a dish a second or a third time to create a winner. When you have mild flavors, like baby spinach, don’t add too much of strong flavored ingredients that will overpower the spinach (also include the dressing in that consideration). You want different flavors, like tang, spicy, bitter, mild, ‘fresh’, to work in concert.
- How I can incorporate various textures? This is my thing; I love to combine various textures, hence the roasted cauliflower, soft cheese, mixed greens, bright small tomatoes
- Do the colors team up well? Colors may seem secondary, but they’re not. Your eyes are very important when it comes to how you perceive a dish. A bland looking dish, most likely tastes blender than one with similar ingredients and more color.
- Can I get away with a dressing that does not involve too many calories? Let’s be honest, one of the reasons we eat a salad is because it is healthy, so adding a creamy dressing would instantly diminish that. Nothing wrong with that; just acknowledge it and move on.
This Roasted Green Cauliflower Salad is made with roasted green cauliflower, a store bought mixed green salad (mostly spinach, but also red leaf lettuce, red chard, a little bit of arugula), multi-colored small tomatoes and a cheese (Swedish Farmer Cheese). I picked a green cauliflower to have a different look. The various colored cauliflowers basically taste the same, but i just wanted another color, just one that isn’t white. I also made a while ago Purple Cauliflower Mash with Gruyere. It may not taste differently, but if you think it does, that’s all that matters.
This recipe is a lunch salad for 2; it contains roasted cauliflower with a nutty flavor, mild salad greens with an occasional arugula leaf, small tomatoes that add freshness and a mild cheese. The flavors blend together well and the dressing is made of oil, vinegar (or my favorite Verjus Blanc), salt, pepper, Dijon mustard, capers, and basil paste (Gourmet Garden – not sponsored).
The textures vary from a mild crunch from cauliflower and green, tomatoes that burst in your mouth and an easy soft cheese. The roasted cauliflower goes in warmish. I happen to like warm elements in a salad. By all means, allow the cauliflower to cool completely before you mix the ingredients together. The colors of this salad vary enough to make it attractive and the dressing is basically a vinaigrette, so not many calories.
I think I covered all my points and now I want to enjoy my salad 🙂
Roasted Green Cauliflower Salad
- 1 small head green cauliflower
- 3 ounces mixed greens
- 4 ounces small tomatoes multi-colored
- 4 ounces cheese Swedish Farmer Cheese, Havarti, Fontina, Emmental
For the dressing
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon vinegar or Verjus Blanc
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 1 squirt basil paste Gourmet Garden
- salt and pepper
- Clean the cauliflower and cut into small florets. Cook in water with salt for about 3 minutes. Drain and cool to the temperature you're comfortable with.
- Wash small tomatoes and cut in half or leave whole.
- Cut cheese in small cubes.
- Make the dressing by mixing all ingredients together and shake or stir well.
- Transfer greens to large bowl, add cauliflower, tomatoes, cheese and pour the dressing over the salad.
- Mix to distribute dressing over salad and serve.