Our Roasted Cauliflower Salad served with a lovely Tahini Dressing is the perfect way to keep enjoying salads during the coldest months of the year. Filling, healthy, and absolutely delicious, this Middle Eastern-inspired dish will become a favorite in your kitchen.
Do you have a favorite vegetable? These last few years I discovered I do, and yes, it's cauliflower! Since we started our food blog, we have created and tested many recipes using cauliflower as the main ingredient. The results are always surprisingly good.
It is probably one of the most versatile vegetables. You can cook almost anything with this winter vegetable and it will taste amazing. Have a look at our Cauliflower Recipes, from Cauliflower Rice to Cauliflower Steaks, you will find a whole selection of yummy dishes to cook using this veggie.
Our Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad was inspired by the traditional Lebanese Cauliflower, a simple dish made with seasoned fried or baked cauliflower served with a lemon and tahini sauce. Get ready to use your Za'atar blend and Sumac for this recipe.
For this Middle Eastern-inspired salad, we use a bunch of fresh ingredients to make a balanced and filling meal. The Tahini dressing adds to this dish the perfect last touch. At home, we serve this dish as a main course with some homemade Pita Bread but you can, of course, serve it as a side dish or appetizer.
Our Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Dressing is:
- A winter salad
- Middle-Eastern inspired
- Quick to make
- Easy to prepare
How to make this Healthy Cauliflower Salad
Cauliflower. Fresh cauliflower is what you need for this salad. We use a small cauliflower head or half if we get larger cauliflower.
Chickpeas. We like adding some plant-based protein, and for this salad, we choose chickpeas. Combined with the cauliflower florets, you can bake them and get a crunchy texture for the salad.
Spice mix. To add flavor to our roasted cauliflower and chickpeas, we season them with ground cumin, coriander, za'atar, smoked paprika, extra virgin olive oil, and salt. You can add other spices such as garlic powder, cayenne pepper, or curry powder.
Fresh leaves. You can use any fresh leaves of your choice, but for this Cauliflower salad we like using baby spinach and rocket salad. They are both small leaves that are easy to mix and combine with the rest of the ingredients.
Pomegranate. Cauliflower and pomegranate are in season during the same months, and we love the fantastic combination these ingredients make. If you cannot find a pomegranate, you can add raisins.
Avocado. I personally love the creaminess that avocado gives to salads. You can chop the avocado and add it to the salad, or blend it with your dressing, to create a creamy avocado dressing.
Ingredients for the Tahini Dressing
Fresh lemon juice. Adding a little lemon juice to your tahini dressing adds acidity and enhances the flavor of the sesame paste.
Garlic. If you like garlic, you can add some pressed garlic when making the dressing.
Salt. Add some sea salt to season the dressing. You can add some black pepper too.
Water. Get the perfect creamy texture by adding some water to the tahini sauce. Keep adding water and whisking until you reach the desired consistency.
This is a great dressing recipe to keep when you need something delicious for simple salads at home.
Step-by-Step cooking method
Salads are not only a great option if you are looking for a healthy and fresh meal but they are normally quite easy and quick to prepare.
- Preheat the oven to 200C or 400F. Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces. Combine the cauliflower florets and chickpeas in a medium-sized baking tray or sheet pan. Add olive oil, za'atar, cumin, coriander, sweet paprika, and salt. Combine all the ingredients until the cauliflower florets and chickpeas are well coated.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the chickpeas are crunchy and the cauliflower tender and golden. Make sure to stir the ingredients halfway to ensure that everything is cooking evenly. Let the cauliflower and chickpeas cool for a few minutes before combining them with the rest of the salad ingredients.
- While the cauliflower and chickpeas are baking, you can prepare the tahini dressing. Combine in a small mixing bowl, the tahini, pressed garlic, fresh lemon juice, and salt in a mixing bowl. Using a whisk or a fork, combine all the ingredients and pour water slowly while you keep whisking. Keep adding water until you reach the desired consistency. You want to get a creamy texture for the perfect dressing consistency.
- Once your cauliflower and chickpeas are ready to go, you can start building your salad. Let them cool for a couple of minutes at room temperature before you add them to a large bowl to make sure the leaves stay fresh. Add the spinach and rocket leaves, baked cauliflower and chickpeas, pomegranate, avocado cut into big slices, fresh mint finely chopped, and sumac to add a delicious lemony touch. You can add some extra Za'atar to taste. Right before serving, add your homemade tahini dressing.
Ingredients suggestions to twist this recipe
We wanted to keep this recipe simple and not overload it with too many ingredients but since we first made it, we've been trying different combinations that we want to suggest to you, because they are yummy!
- Preserved lemons. We always have homemade preserved lemons in our kitchen. We are lucky to have two beautiful lemon trees at home that give us lemons almost all year round. Preserved lemons will make for a lovely addition to this salad. This is the recipe we follow when making our own preserved lemons.
- Lemon zest. If you don't have preserved lemons or Sumac that the recipe calls for, use lemon zest to give your salad a lovely lemony touch.
- Toasted almonds. Another ingredient that would go beautifully in this salad is toasted almonds or other nuts such as pine nuts, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, sesame seeds, or cashews.
- Add other green leaves. We chose baby spinach and rocket salad but you can add other leaves or even sprouts to your salad.
- Add other veggies. We've tried adding pickled red onion, cherry tomatoes, and roasted broccoli to this salad, and it was yummy!
- Change the legumes. We like adding chickpeas as they can be roasted with cauliflower, but you can add cooked brown lentils to the salad, which gives the salad a great touch.
- Grains. Adding cooked quinoa, couscous, or bulgur can make this salad more substantial and filling. It's a great way to turn it into a complete meal.
- Fresh herbs. Fresh parsley, fresh dill, fresh mint, or coriander are lovely additions to this delicious salad.
This cauliflower salad with tahini dressing can be served both as a main or a delicious side dish. It's filling and perfect to have as a fresh and healthy lunch or dinner.
If you are serving the salad as a main dish, consider serving it with some Pita Bread. You could even make a Pita Sandwich filling the Pita pockets with our yummy salad or a salad burrito.
Another way to enjoy this colorful salad is with homemade falafels. Have a look at our Beetroot Falafel Recipe for some inspiration.
This salad is a great option to serve with your favorite mains, as a refreshing side dish. We especially love serving this when we make creamy pasta such as this Tahini Pasta.
If you are planning a festive meal and you think this is the perfect side dish, you are definitely going to build a winner menu! Serve this hearty salad with your Vegan Wellington or Nut Roast for the perfect balanced festive Easter or Christmas menu.
If you are planning on enjoying this delicious cauliflower salad later, we recommend you cut the avocado right before serving and leave the dressing in a separate airtight container.
If you have some leftovers, we would suggest to eat them within a day.
FAQ and Tips
Can I make this cauliflower salad recipe in advance?
Yes, you can prepare most of the components in advance. However, it's best to assemble the salad just before serving to maintain the freshness and texture.
What are some dressing variations for this salad?
Besides tahini dressing, you can experiment with other dressings like lemon vinaigrette, balsamic vinaigrette, dijon mustard dressing, vegan sour cream, plant-based yogurt dressings, or even a simple olive oil, red wine vinegar, and lemon juice combination.
Can I use the air fryer to cook the chickpeas and cauliflower?
Yes! You can use your air fryer to cook these ingredients. Set the air fryer to 200C (400F) and roast for about 20-25 minutes.
Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Dressing
Roasted Cauliflower Salad
- 1 cauliflower head medium size
- 2 cup chickpeas
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoon za'atar
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 50 g rocket salad
- 100 g baby spinach
- ½ pomegranate
- 1 avocado
- Sumac add to taste before serving
- 1 garlic clove optional
- A pinch of salt
- 4 tablespoon tahini
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- Water Add slowly while whisking until desired consistency
Roasted Cauliflower Salad
- Preheat the oven to 200C or 400F.
- Cut the cauliflower head into bite-sized florets.
- Using a big mixing bowl, add cauliflower and chickpeas. Add olive oil, za'atar, cumin, coriander, sweet paprika, and salt.
- Combine all the ingredients until the cauliflower florets and chickpeas are well coated.
- Transfer the cauliflower and chickpeas onto a baking tray and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the chickpeas are crunchy and the cauliflower tender and golden. Make sure to stir the ingredients halfway to ensure that everything is cooking evenly.
- Once cooked, let them cool for a couple of minutes before you add them to the salad bowl to make sure the leaves stay fresh.
- Grab your favorite salad bowl and add the spinach and rocket leaves, baked cauliflower and chickpeas, pomegranate, avocado cut into big slices, sumac, and some extra Za'atar to taste.
- Combine the tahini, pressed garlic, fresh lemon juice, and salt in a mixing bowl.
- Using a whisk or a fork, combine all the ingredients and pour water slowly while you keep whisking. Keep adding water until you reach the desired consistency. You want to get a creamy texture for the perfect dressing consistency.
- Right before serving, add your homemade tahini dressing.
|If you tried our recipe, please leave a comment or tag us on Instagram @Sixhungryfeet. We are always happy to see your creations!