Our Purple Cauliflower Recipe 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.
The star of the show is, of course, the purple cauliflower. This veggie is loved for its naturally sweet and nutty flavour, and its rich colour is just the icing on the cake.
In this purple cauliflower recipe, we've paired it with green olives, almonds and coriander seeds for a mix of textures, flavours and aromas that all work together beautifully.
However, if you prefer an Asian-style cauliflower, then you have got to give our Miso Cauliflower Salad a try or for a delightfully crunchy salad, try our yummy Cauliflower Tabbouleh or for something fragrant, try our Roast Cauliflower salad.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- 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 white or orange cauliflower, green cauliflower (broccoflower) or even Romanesco here.
- 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, utterly different to fresh coriander/cilantro. Cumin, caraway or fennel seeds are also great options.
- You can add some pomegranate arils for a pop of colour or sliced chilli.
💡 Top Tips 💡
To prevent your cauliflower from changing colour, add a squeeze of lemon juice while you are cooking it.
How to Make It
Step 1 - How to Cut a Cauliflower
Wash the cauliflower, remove the core and leaves.
🤔 Did you know that the edible florets of cauliflower are referred to as the "curd"?
Then cut it into small florets and pat it dry; otherwise, it will spit at you when you add it to the frypan.
Step 2 - Cook the Cauliflower
Heat a large non-stick frypan on medium heat, add the oil and heat until warm, then add the cauliflower.
Add a squeeze of lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, then sauté until golden brown. (Approximately 10-15 minutes, you will notice it darkening in colour).
Step 3 - Add the Aromatics and 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, crispy 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 zest and the remaining juice. Now, stir everything through the florets and pan-fry until the cauliflower is tender. (Approximately 5-10 minutes).
I just love ❤️ how the cauliflower changes colour from violet to bright purple as you are cooking it!
In the meantime, wash the parsley, shake or pat it dry, and 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 oil.
Arrange in a salad bowl, drizzle with some oil and a sprinkle of chopped parsley. Serve either hot or cold - I like mine piping hot from the stove!
This Purple Cauliflower recipe is a great side dish for cooler weather - its regal colours make it perfect for your Christmas or Thanksgiving table.
Tips and Questions
Where Can I Buy Coloured Cauliflower?
- As cauliflower is in season during autumn/fall and winter, you are farmer's to find it at a farmer's 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.
How Do I Choose the Best Purple Cauliflower?
- 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.
Can I Use White Cauliflower Instead?
Iif you can't find a coloured caullie then, by all means, you can replace it with a white, orange, green or even with romanesco instead.
As they are so similar, there is nothing to change in the recipe.
Can I Make This Purple Cauliflower Recipe Ahead?
- 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.
- Prepare all the components to this salad the day before and keep them in individual airtight containers in the fridge.
- On the day, bring everything to room temperature before serving.
- Also, add the parsley just before serving so that it does not wilt or discolour.
Storage and Leftovers
- 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 up any leftovers and to use 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.
What Diets is Purple Cauliflower Best Suited To?
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, 32 ounces)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Sea salt and cracked pepper
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
- ½ cup almonds roughly chopped
- ½ cup green olives roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- ⅓ cup lemon juice fresh
- 3 tablespoons 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