Yay! It's officially Spring!! So are we going to let the prediction of a foot of snow and high intensity, likely-to-cause-power-loss winds stop us from eating like there's been an actual seasonal shift towards warmer weather?!! No siree! Cue this wonderful and very warm weather friendly, Roasted Cauliflower Salad. It would be fantastic for picnics, backyard barbecues and yes, also snowy days! Geez!!
I actually hate raw cauliflower but I LOVE it when it's roasted!! The way it gets all crispy and caramelized and tender. Seriously, I make it all the time, so having it be the basis of an easy-to-make salad is a natural. I just have to keep from nibbling it all away so there's enough left for the salad!!
The other things that make this salad such a winner are the orzo, red onion, feta and dried cherries. So much flavor, color and texture! Then, there's the slightly tangy, homemade lemon/honey mustard dressing that lightly coats everything. Every bite is the perfect blend of sweet, tart, earthiness and crunch.
It's great at room temperature and also cold, which means that you can totally make it ahead--a real boon for summer get-togethers or just to serve with an ordinary burger on the barbecue--that is, if you can shovel out enough to actually get to the grill! Stay safe everyone!!
Roasted Cauliflower Salad
Makes 6 servings
Prep Time for the Roasted Cauliflower: 30 minutes; Prep Time for the rest of the salad: 10-12 minutes
For the Roasted Cauliflower
- 1 cauliflower, root end trimmed off, cut or broken into small florets
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- A couple of pinches of kosher salt and black pepper
For the salad
- 1 cup orzo pasta
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Pinch of two of kosher salt and black pepper
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2/3 cup dried cherries
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place cauliflower, oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and toss together well. Spread out evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, until cauliflower is tender and caramelized. Set aside to cool.
2. Meanwhile bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook the orzo according to the package directions, but for 1-2 minutes less so that they're al dente and not mushy. Drain in a colander, rinse well with cold water, drain again and toss with 1 tablespoon of the oil right in the colander.
3. Place the remaining oil, lemon juice, honey , mustard, salt and pepper in a large bowl and whisk together well. Add the cooked orzo, cauliflower, onion, feta and cherries and toss well with the dressing. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate and serve chilled.
Note: Recipe adapted from Cravings by Chrissy Teigen. I left out the spinach and tinkered with some of the proportions. You can totally be creative here.