Roasted cauliflower salad with Mediterranean spices is so flavorful and easy to make. The cauliflower is seasoned with warm spices and roasted to perfection, then topped with a zesty yogurt dressing, making every bite extra delicious.
We love our salads big and bold. From our beet salad with feta and zaatar, grilled peach salad, roasted butternut squash salad and Turkish white bean salad to our herb packed potato salad, there are many ways to make a salad extra flavorful. This spiced roasted cauliflower salad is a great way to use up cauliflower to make a delicious side dish that everyone loves.
Table Of Contents:
Why we love this recipe
- Flavors: The cauliflower is seasoned with warm spices such as cumin, turmeric and paprika, which is similar to our whole roasted cauliflower recipe. If you prepare it properly, cauliflower can be from bland, just like our favorite roasted cauliflower soup. The addition of red onions and olives gives a kick to the salad that's balanced with a tasty yogurt sauce.
- Texture: The roasted cauliflower has a bit of a bite to it and the hard boiled eggs are tender with a velvety yolk. With the toasted pine nuts and chickpeas, you've got creamy and crunchy in one bite!
- A complete meal: Even though we call this a salad, with the chickpeas and toasted pine nuts, this salad offers everything you're looking for in a comforting, well balanced meal.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Cauliflower - You need a head of cauliflower for this recipe. Make sure the cauliflower you have is fresh and doesn't have any brown spots. If it has a few brown spots, simply cut them out and use the rest.
- Spice mix - A combination of cumin, coriander, paprika, cardamom, turmeric and Aleppo pepper makes the cauliflower very tasty. Instead of this spice mix, you can use seven spice blend as well.
- Chickpeas - I used canned chickpeas for this recipe, you can also cook chickpeas from scratch.
- Herbs - A mix of green onions, cilantro and dill brightens up this salad. You can leave out any of the herbs if preferred.
- Red onions - They add sweetness and color to the salad. You can also use pickled red onions. If the red onions are too sharp, soak them in ice water for 20 minutes.
- Hard boiled eggs - To turn this into a complete meal, add a few hard boiled eggs if desired.
- Olives - I used a combination of Spanish green olives and Kalamata olives for this recipe.
- Pine nuts - Toasted pine nuts are used to add a bit of crunch and richness. You can also used toasted almonds or walnuts.
Top 3 tips for roasting cauliflower
Roasting is my favorite way to serve cauliflower. It enhances the flavor and gives it a very nice texture. There are a few notes to keep in mind when roasting cauliflower:
- Roast at a high oven temperature: To keep the cauliflower crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, it’s best to roast it at 400°F or 425°F. This goes for some other recipes such as roasted radishes or roasted potatoes as well.
- Give it a stir: It’s important to stir the cauliflower halfway through roasting to make sure it gets crispy on all sides.
- Arrange in a single layer: To have nicely cooked cauliflower, make sure they’re in a single layer and not overlapping. Also, it’s best not to overcrowd the pan, same as we do to make Mediterranean roasted vegetables.
How to make roasted cauliflower salad
- Prepare the spice mix: In a small bowl, mix the cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, cardamom, Aleppo pepper and olive oil to make a paste.
- Roast the cauliflower: Slice the cauliflower vertically into “steaks" and place them on the baking sheet. Brush the spice mix and olive oil on both sides of the cauliflower pieces. Roast the cauliflowers in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes and flip them halfway through for even cooking.
- Make the yogurt dressing: Mix the yogurt with olive oil, lemon juice, paprika, thyme and salt.
- Assemble and serve: Place the roasted cauliflower on the serving platter and top it with cooked chickpeas, hard boiled eggs, green and black olives, red onion and herbs. Finish with the toasted pine nuts and drizzle the yogurt dressing over the salad.
You can customize this roasted cauliflower salad to your liking. Here are a few suggestions:
- Instead of the yogurt sauce, use our favorite Middle Eastern tahini sauce or balsamic glaze and olive oil.
- Add other vegetables such as avocados, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers.
- Cut the cauliflower into florets instead of steaks.
- Leave out the hard boiled eggs and top it with grilled zaatar chicken or baked Greek chicken.
- Instead of chickpeas, use canned white beans or cannellini beans.
You can serve roasted cauliflower salad as part of an appetizer spread with hummus, muhammara, baba ganoush and some fresh homemade pita. You can also leave out the hard boiled eggs and serve it as a side dish with main courses such as garlic chicken, grilled chicken kabobs, baked mahi mahi, dijon salmon, pan seared salmon or sauteed shrimp.
Frequently Asked Questions
Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. You can serve it cold or at room temperature.
This depends on the size of the cauliflower steak or florets and the temperature of the oven. At 400 degrees F, it usually takes about 20 to 30 minutes to roast cauliflower steaks.
This salad is best served when the cauliflower is still warm. You can prepare the spice mix, vegetables and yogurt dressing a few hours in advance and roast the cauliflower before serving.
Yes. Roast the cauliflower from frozen at 450 degrees F for 20 minutes. Stir/flip halfway through for even roasting.
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Mediterranean Roasted Cauliflower Salad
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ tsp cardamom
- ½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper
- 4 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
Roasted cauliflower salad
- 1 large head of cauliflower sliced vertically
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas canned or homemade
- ⅓ cup green onions chopped
- ⅓ cup cilantro chopped
- 4 hard boiled eggs
- ½ cup olives green and black, chopped
- ½ red onion sliced
- ⅓ cup pine nuts
Lemon yogurt dressing
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- 1 lemon juice of
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- In a small bowl, mix cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, cardamom, Aleppo pepper and olive oil.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Place the cauliflower pieces on the baking sheet and spread half of the spice mixture on them. Flip and spread the rest on the other side. Roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Flip halfway through to make sure they cook evenly.
- Make the yogurt dressing - mix the yogurt, lemon juice, salt, paprika, thyme and olive oil in a small bowl and set aside.
- Place roasted cauliflower on a platter and arrange the chickpeas, green onions, cilantro, dill, hard boiled eggs, olives and red onion on the salad. Heat a pan over medium heat and toast the pine nuts for 2-3 minutes until golden on all sides. Add them to the salad.
- Drizzle the yogurt dressing over the salad and serve.
- You can cut the cauliflower into steaks or florets, both would work for this recipe.
- If using frozen cauliflowers, roast them from frozen at 450°F for 20 minutes. Stir/flip halfway through for even cooking.
- To keep the cauliflower crispy and juicy, it’s best to roast it at 400°F or 425°F. It’s important to stir the cauliflower halfway through roasting to make sure it’s crisping on all sides.
- To have nicely cooked cauliflower, make sure they’re in a single layer and not overlapping. Also, it’s best not to overcrowd the pan, same as we do to make Mediterranean roasted vegetables.
- This salad is best served when the roasted cauliflower is still warm. To save time, you can prepare the spice mix, vegetables and dressing a few hours in advance and roast the cauliflower before serving.
- Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.
- You can serve this salad with Middle Eastern tahini sauce instead of the yogurt sauce.