Roast Cauliflower Salad

Roast Cauliflower Salad

The fennel seeds in this Roast Cauliflower Salad lifted a boring cauliflower and reminded me of sipping iced ouzo by the ocean.

While boiling cauliflower makes it bland and boring, roasting it in the oven deepens its flavour and caramelizes its natural sugars.

Try this salad with some grilled pork chops or some garlic king prawns.


Roast Cauliflower Salad

CuisineGreek Inspired
Servings4 as a side *

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins


  • Salad Spinner


For roasting…

  • 280 grams cauliflower (1 small cauliflower head)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg (freshly grated)
  • Sea salt & cracked black pepper

For the salad…

  • 100 grams baby spinach leaves
  • 2 tbsp pepita seeds (toasted)

For the dressing…

  • 3 tbsps olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 2 tbsps lemon juice (approximately 1 medium lemon)


To roast your cauliflower…

  • Preheat your oven to 260°C (500°F). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • Cut off the stems and leaves of your cauliflower and discard. Then break your cauliflower into medium sized florets. Wash thoroughly under cold running water, drain in a colander and pat dry with a towel.
  • Place your cauliflower, olive oil, fennel seeds and nutmeg then toss well until the cauliflower is well coated with the oil and spices. Place in the middle section of your oven and roast until golden but still slightly firm (approximately 15 to 20 minutes) and allow to cool.

To make your salad…

  • Wash your baby spinach leaves under cold running water then spin dry in a salad spinner. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
  • Place all your dressing ingredients in a glass jar and shake until emulsified.
  • Add your cooled cauliflower, toasted pepitas to your mixing bowl with the baby spinach, season with salt and pepper, toss well until combined. Taste and adjust seasonings according to your taste.
  • Arrange in a salad bowl or salad platter and serve.



Nutrition Facts
Roast Cauliflower Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 228 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Sodium 61mg3%
Potassium 432mg12%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 2344IU47%
Vitamin C 44mg53%
Calcium 61mg6%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This video on toasting your pepitas is courtesy of AllRecipes.

More on cauliflower…

Cauliflower comes from the Latin words caulis (cabbage) and flōs (flower). Cauliflower was cultivated from wild cabbage that grew in Asia and parts of the Mediterranean. It was introduced by the Moors to Europe and became part of the diet by the 1500s. It was cultivated in the British Isles in the 16th century.


Autumn (April, May)
Winter (June, July, August)
Spring (September) 


Cauliflower is a good source of Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Potassium and Manganese.

Romanesco is also a good source of Protein, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber.


White Cauliflowers
Are the most common cauliflowers available in Australia they have a creamy, white head that is surrounded by green leaves. 

Is another new type of cauliflower. It has a bright yellow-green head with distinctive pointy, cone-shaped florets that have a nutty taste when cooked. 

Purple Cauliflower
Is a new variety that contains anthocyanins that give this vegetable its unique colour. When you overcook purple cauliflower it turns green as the colour seeps into the cooking water.


Is a new brassica variety, it was developed by the same company who introduced broccolini to the market. While broccolini is a cross between broccoli and gai-lan (Chinese broccoli) caulilini is all cauliflower. It has long green stems with cream-colored, open florets growing in bunches at the tops. The heads are firm, with a few large, cabbage-like leaves growing around them. The entirely edible stems and flowers offer a succulent texture and sweet, nutty flavor with none of the typical brassica aroma or bitter taste. 


Look for white or cream-coloured heads that feel heavy for their size. The deeply ribbed green leaves that envelop a head of cauliflower should look fresh, not wilted, yellow or dry.

Keep cauliflower loosely wrapped in plastic in the fridge. It can keep up to 2 weeks, if bought fresh.

You can cut cauliflower into florets and store them, sealed, in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to one week. 


To cut into florets…

Cut off the surrounding leaves (if they’re fresh, they can be cooked, too). For large cauliflowers, cut off individual florets from the central stem and cut again if necessary. You should end up with florets of a comparable size, so that they all cook at the same pace. Place in a colander and wash under cold running water. 

To cut into steaks… 

Cut off the stalk flush with the base of the crown. (Do not cut any part of the core that is attached to florets.)

Stand the cauliflower upright. Cut 1-inch-thick slices, from the crown down through the core end. Side cuts may be precariously held together, but should be bound by the core—use a wide spatula to transfer steaks off your board. Reserve any stray pieces, which can be prepared alongside the steaks and served with them.

Place in a colander and wash under cold running water. 

To make cauliflower rice…

Wash the cauliflower and remove the leaves and most of the Advanced stem, then pulse in a food processor until it resembles rice, (not too fine or it will turn to mush). Re-process any large pieces, then transfer to a mixing bowl.

Cook cauliflower in a non aluminium saucepan as the chemical in cauliflower can react with the aluminium changing the colour of the cauliflower to yellow. 

To prepare Romanesco..

Cut the base of the romanesco, removing the thick stem that protrudes beyond the florets and larger leaves (if they are attached). 

Using a paring knife separate into florets of the same size. 

Place in a colander and wash under cold running water.

To prepare Caulilini…

There is really not much needed to prepare this variety, wash well under cold running water, remove the bottom hard stalk, then break into smaller long florets.

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