Must Try Mediterranean Cauliflower Salad

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It’s officially summertime. And one my favorite things about summer is filling up on fresh fruits and veggies. That’s why this Mediterranean Cauliflower Salad is the epitome of summer. It’s filled with fresh produce that’s bursting with flavor. Keep it light by pairing it with a green salad or serving it alongside your favorite barbecue. Either way, you’re going to love it!

When it comes to making cauliflower sides, most people stop at cauliflower rice. But, have you ever tried making cauliflower salad? It is absolutely delicious. And if you’re looking for a dish that is easy, healthy and an absolute crowd-pleaser, this would be it. Unfortunately, many crowd-pleasing recipes aren’t necessarily healthy. That’s why I’m sharing my healthy summer recipe for Mediterranean cauliflower salad.

Just think of it as a pasta salad but, instead of pasta, we’re using cauliflower.
Unlike a pasta salad, however, this recipe is gluten-free, vegan, and keto — c’mon triple threat!

As recent as four years ago, pasta salad was one of my favorite summer recipes to make. A box of pasta doesn’t cost much and of course it stretches to feed a crowd.

Well guess what?

Fresh cauliflower is also affordable and you won’t have to worry about a spike in blood sugar after this meal. This roasted cauliflower “pasta” salad is based on how I used to make my own pasta salad but instead, it utilizes delicious vegetables and herbs.

It’s the combination of herbs and flavors that makes this cauliflower salad so enticing. I knew that I hit “the nail on the head” when my kids asked for more. Serve the salad with grilled chicken, fish, seafood or any other lean protein. Part of what makes this salad so great is the fact that cruciferous vegetables are so versatile and just brimming with health benefits.

What are Cruciferous Vegetables?

I thought you’d never ask. Cruciferous vegetables are a group of vegetables that include broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, kale, arugula, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and more. What makes cruciferous vegetables so amazing is that they are filled with phytonutrients, fiber, antioxidants and anti-cancer benefits.

And the “lowering cancer risk part” is no drop in the bucket. There are numerous studies that shows reduced risk of prostate, lung, breast and other cancers.

How to Make Roasted Cauliflower Salad

In this Cauliflower Salad, the flavors are tasty enough to enjoy right away, but set it in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight for peak flavor to serve the next day.

Roasting the cauliflower versus boiling it not only brings out the color but maximizes the flavor as well. So here’s how to make it:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Spread the bite-sized cauliflower unto a large baking sheet.
  • Toss it in olive oil.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, turning half way through.
  • Broil on high the last 5 minutes of cooking. (You can skip this part if you want but, you would be missing some awesome color there).
  • Place the roasted cauliflower in a bowl and add olives, onions, tomatoes, peppers, onion, thyme, Italian seasoning, basil, and scallions.
  • Add ingredients to make dressing (olive oil, vinegar, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper) to a food processor .
  • Mix dressing into the salad.
  • If you can, let it set in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before serving. (This is where you’re going to get tremendous flavor).

Tips to Give You Cauliflower Salad an Extra Burst of Flavor (Optional)

  • Use the roast function on your oven it you have one.
  • Add a a teaspoon or two of oil from the sundried tomatoes bottle to your cauliflower salad.
  • Use the broiler function on your oven during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  • If you can stand the wait, let the salad sit for 24 hours before serving.

Storage of Cauliflower Salad

Any leftover cauliflower salad should be stored inside an airtight container inside the refrigerator. The good news is the longer this salad sits in the fridge, the better it gets for up to 4-5 days.

If you’re planning a summer picnic or barbecue, here are some other recipes that would it go nicely alongside:

Strawberry Barbecue Chicken Wings

Watermelon Lemonade

Coleslaw with Raisins

Summerthyme Blueberry Lemonade

Other Cauliflower Recipes to Try

Cilantro Cauliflower Rice

Please note:

If you saw this recipe featured on the recent Instagram LIVE cooking show, “Cooking with Dr. Lisa”, see the link to the bowl that everyone was talking about. If really should have it’s own fan club. The cauliflower salad does sit beautifully in the bowl.

Yield: 8

Must Try Mediterranean Cauliflower Salad

Must Try Mediterranean Cauliflower Salad

A delicious and easy recipe for cauliflower salad with juicy Mediterranean flavor that's sure to please.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 heads of cauliflower (cut into segments)
  • 1/4 cup black olives (drained)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup roasted or sun-dried tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp dry Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 3-5 basil leaves (cut into strips)
  • Dressing
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Instructions

      1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
      2. Evenly spread cauliflower on large baking sheet.
      3. Thoroughly toss in 2 tablespoons olive oil.
      4. Season with salt and pepper.
      5. Bake for 20 minutes, turning half way through.
      6. Broil on high the last 5 minutes of cooking.
      7. Place roasted cauliflower in bowl and add olives, onions, tomatoes, peppers, thyme, Italian seasoning, basil, and scallions.
      8. In small food processor add ingredients to make dressing (olive oil, vinegar, garlic, mustard, salt, celery seed and pepper).
      9. Mix dressing into the salad and finish by sprinkling with nutritional yeast flakes and fresh basil.
      10. If you can, let set in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.

Serve the Salad in This

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