Must Try Mediterranean Cauliflower Salad

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​Try this low carb Mediterranean Cauliflower Salad made with roasted cauliflower and lots of fresh herbs.  Keep it light by pairing it with a green salad or serving it alongside your favorite protein or seafood. Either way, you’re going to love this healthy vegan salad. 

When it comes to making healthy cauliflower recipes, most people stop at cauliflower riceBut, have you ever tried making cauliflower salad? It can be enjoyed as a tasty side or vegetarian main dish and is absolutely delicious. 

If you’re looking for a dish that is easy, healthy and an absolute crowd-pleaser, this Mediterranean cauliflower salad is it.  

Just think of it as a pasta salad but, instead of pasta, cauliflower takes the center stage.


Unlike a pasta salad, however, this recipe is gluten-free, vegan, and keto — c’mon triple threat!

Back in the day, pasta salad was one of my favorite 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, incredibly healthy, but 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 cauliflower florets 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. 

This salad is perfect in warmer months, but can also served all year round. 

Is cauliflower healthy? 

I thought you’d never ask. Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable. 

Cruciferous vegetables are a group of vegetables that include broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, kale, arugula, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and more. What makes these 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. 

You’ll be delighted to know that cauliflower is naturally a low carb vegetable and makes for versatile healthy cooking. Even if you’re cooking with cauliflower for the first time, you’re going to like this recipe. 

Tools You Need (Recommended)

large salad bowl

small salad bowls

food processor

sheet pan

Ingredients in Mediterranean Cauliflower Salad

This healthy cauliflower salad is packed with Mediterranean flavors and can be served at room temperature or cold. 

  • cauliflower 
  • black olives or kalamata olives 
  • extra virgin 
  • red peppers 
  • jalepeno 
  • olive oil 
  • roasted sun dried tomatoes 
  • red onion
  • fresh thyme leaves  
  • Italian seasoning 
  • nutritional yeast 
  • chopped scallions or green onions 
  • ​basil leaves 

Dressing 

  • extra virgin olive oil 
  • red wine vinegar 
  • minced garlic 
  • dry mustard 

How to Make Roasted Cauliflower Salad 

In this Mediterranean Cauliflower Salad recipe, the flavors are tasty enough to enjoy right away, but set it in the fridge for at least 2 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). 

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

  • Cut off any brown spots on the cauliflower before cutting. 
  • Remove the tough more fibrous parts of the cauliflower and focus on using cauliflower florets. 
  • Add 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 to let the flavors marry before serving. 
  • If you’re tolerant of legumes or a following a vegan or vegetarian, add some crispy chickpeas or white beans to this recipe to make it a complete meal. 

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 Healthy Cauliflower Recipes to Try

Cilantro Cauliflower Rice

​Golden Cauliflower Rice Recipe

Cauliflower Carrot Soup  

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 bite-sized pieces- hard parts removed)
  • 1/4 cup black olives (drained and chopped)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup roasted or sun-dried tomatoes (chopped and drained)
  • 1/2 jalapeno (seeds removed)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped red pepper
  • 2 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp dry Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • 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 2-3 large 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 half of cauliflower on a large baking sheet.
      3. Thoroughly toss in 2 tablespoons of olive oil per batch.
      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, nutritional yeast flakes, Italian seasoning, basil, jalapenos, basil and scallions.
      8. In small food processor add ingredients to make dressing (olive oil, vinegar, garlic, mustard, salt, celery seed and black pepper).
      9. Mix dressing into the salad until thoroughly distributed.
      10. If you can, let set in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.
      11. Can be served refrigerated or room temperature.

Nutrition Information

Yield

8

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 183Total Fat 15gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 0mgSodium 131mgCarbohydrates 11gFiber 5gSugar 5gProtein 4g

Original: June 24, 2021

Updated for content October 8, 2023

Serve the Salad in This

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