Our Purple Cauliflower Salad is packed with aromatic flavours and looks sensational with its vibrant violet hues. Teamed with green olives, almonds and coriander seeds it's ideal for impressing guests at a dinner party.
What I LOVE About this Salad
I just love its regal purple hues it really adds the WOW factor to your dinner table. We have used warming whole coriander spice and crunchy almonds to make it a warm and toasty salad, ideal for cold winter nights by the fire!
Table of contents
What makes purple cauliflower purple?
While you may be fooled into thinking that it has been genetically modified in order to get its bright purple colour, it is not the case at all.
Just like all purple-hued fruits and vegetables, like red cabbage and blueberries, purple cauliflower gets its gorgeous violet hues from anthocyanin a flavonoid-rich in antioxidants.
Jump to our FAQ section for tips on choosing, where to buy and white cauliflower differences.
To prevent your cauliflower from changing colour add a squeeze of lemon juice while you are cooking it.
What to serve it with
This is a great salad for cooler weather, it pairs well with your Christmas or Thanksgiving Turkey, roasts, stews casseroles and ravines. Try it with...
Ingredients & Substitions
- Purple Cauliflower - I could not resist this gorgeous bright purple beauty at the farmers market when I saw it and it truly does make this salad special. However, you can certainly swap it for any colour cauliflower or even Romanesco here. You can add some pomegranate arils for a pop of colour or sliced chilli.
- Parsley - added as colour contrast and for its fresh green flavour. Fresh mint or coriander/cilantro are great alternatives.
- Green Olives - added here for their tanginess they can be replaced with any of your favourite olive varieties such as Kalamata or Sicilian. Hate olives, not a problem try capers instead.
- Almonds - added for some crunch, pistachios, brazil nuts or hazelnuts are a great alternative.
- Coriander Seeds - added for their earthy aroma and warmth, completely different to fresh coriander/cilantro. Cumin, caraway or fennel seeds are also great options.
You Will Need:
How to Make it
Wash the cauliflower, remove the core and leaves and cut into small florets. You need to pat it dry, otherwise, it will spit at you when you add it to the frypan.
Heat a large non-stick frypan on medium heat, add the olive oil and heat until warm, then add the cauliflower with a squeeze of lemon juice and sauté until golden brown. (Approximately 10-15 minutes, you will notice it darkening in colour).
3ADD AROMATICS & HERBS
In the meantime, roughly chop the green olives and almonds, do this next to the stovetop so you can keep an eye on your cauliflower.
Then add the coriander seeds and stir through until well distributed throughout the cauliflower florets, cook the seeds until golden and fragrant. You know they are ready when you can smell their gorgeous earthy, fruity aroma.
Time to add your chopped green olives and almonds, the lemon zest and the remaining lemon juice. Now, stir everything through the florets and cook until the cauliflower is tender. (Approximately 5-10 minutes).
In the meantime wash the parsley, shake or pat it dry then roughly chop.
Remove cooked cauliflower from the heat toss through the chopped parsley and if it is looking a bit dry add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil.
Arrange in a salad bowl, drizzle with some oil and serve either hot or cold - I like mine piping hot from the stove!
Common Questions (FAQs)
Purple cauliflower is higher in antioxidants than regular white cauliflower it is milder tasting with a sweeter and nuttier taste without any of the pungent aroma or bitter taste that the white has.
Did you know that the edible florets of cauliflower are referred to as the “curd”?
As cauliflower is in season during autumn/fall and winter you are more likely to find it at a farmers market or at a specialty greengrocer.
I surprisingly stumbled across mine at a farmers market during the summer months and then ran across a stack at my supermarket.
Just like you would any other cauliflower variety, make sure that the leaves are fresh and not limp and droopy.
Look for heads that are tightly closed and firm, without any blemishes or brown spots.
It should smell fresh and grassy but not sulphur like and it should be bright and evenly coloured.
Not a problem at all, if you can’t find a coloured caullie then by all means you can replace it with a white or even with romanesco instead.
As they are so similar there is nothing to change in the recipe apart from cooking times.
It all depends, if you want to serve this as a hot side then no it really cannot be made ahead. However, if you are going to serve this as a cold side then it can be made several hours in advance or even the day before.
Keep it in an airtight container in the fridge and bring it to room temperature before serving. Also, add the parsley just before serving so that it does not wilt or discolour.
Any leftover salad still tastes great after several days in the fridge just store it in an airtight container.
To change it up you can chop it up and use it as a filling in a frittata with some crumbled feta. Or even stir it through some cooked pasta with cream, Parmesan cheese and minced garlic.
This is a great salad for Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian and Whole30 eaters.
For Low Carb and Keto eaters, it contains 19 grams of total carbs or 9 grams of net carbs
Looking for more brassIca salad inspiration?
- 900 grams purple cauliflower (approximately 6 cups, 32oz)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Sea salt and cracked pepper
- 2 tbsps coriander seeds
- ½ cup almonds roughly chopped
- ½ cup green olives roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- ⅓ cup lemon juice fresh
- 3 tbsps olive oil
- Wash the cauliflower, remove the core and leaves and cut into small florets, then pat dry. You don’t want it to spit at you when you add it to the frypan.
- Heat a large non-stick frypan on medium heat, add the olive oil and heat until warm, then add the cauliflower a squeeze of lemon juice and sauté until golden brown. (Approximately 10-15 minutes, you will notice it darken in colour).
- In the meantime, roughly chop the green olives and almonds.
- Add the coriander seeds and stir until well distributed throughout the cauliflower florets; cook them until golden and fragrant.
- Add green olives, zest and lemon juice, stir through the cauliflower, and cook until the cauliflower is tender. (Approximately 5-10 minutes).
- In the meantime, wash the parsley, shake or pat dry and roughly chop.
- Remove the cooked cauliflower from the stove, toss through the chopped parsley and add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil if it looks dry.
- Arrange in a salad bowl and serve when you are ready. I