This hearty vegan roasted cauliflower salad with cannellini beans, chewy kamut, and toasted pine nuts is great warm or cold.
I'm going to let you in on a Nutrition Lady secret... not all salads have to have greens.
I guess it depends a bit on your definition of a salad, but, friends, try this Spicy Mung Bean Salad or this Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Lentils and if they aren't salady enough for you, well, I guess that means more for the rest of us.
Today's Roasted Cauliflower Salad, if we can call this that, brings roasted cauliflower together with cannellini beans, chewy kamut, and toasted pine nuts. It can be eaten warm or cold, and lemony tahini sauce takes it from simple to sublime, balanced with a sprinkling of salty capers.
What's in this recipe:
The ingredients list is short and sweet! You'll find specific quantities in the printable recipe card at the end of this post, but here's a quick overview.
- Cauliflower --> Kind of the star of the show.
- Cannellini beans --> Or another white bean of your choice.
- Kamut --> Or wheat berries or another whole grain.
- Pine nuts --> We're going to toast 'em up!
- Capers --> For that pop of saltiness.
- Parsley --> And a good amount of it.
- Tahini --> For getting saucy.
- Lemon --> For zing!
- Extra virgin olive oil --> As one does.
Roasting the cauliflower and cooking the kamut are the most time consuming parts of making this recipe. But both of them are perfect ingredients for batch cooking (related: Batch Cooking for Beginners) if you want to prepare in advance.
Feel free to mix up the beans according to what you've got on hand. Canned Cannellini beans are great if well rinsed, but you can also cook dried beans. These Instant Pot Chickpeas would be really lovely in this Roasted Cauliflower Salad!
It’s the kind of thing I could eat every day. The combination of grains and beans offers up a lot of protein in this vegan meal, so it can stand on it’s own or function equally well as a side.
I think this roasted cauliflower salad would make a great potluck offering, the perfect addition to a holiday table, and I know for a fact that it makes great packed lunches – tuck an extra wedge of lemon alongside to freshen it up at lunch.
Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, in the same family as broccoli, kale, and cabbage, with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory health benefits. Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate.
It is a great source of vitamin B5, potassium, dietary fiber, and a good source of protein, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamins B1-3, and iron.
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Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Salad
For the Salad
- 1 medium cauliflower cut into florets
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 1 cup cooked kamut farro, spelt, or barley (from ½ cup uncooked)
- 14 oz can cannellini beans rinsed and drained
- ½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves roughly chopped
- 3 Tablespoons capers
For the dressing
- ⅓ cup tahini paste
- 3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- ¼ cup water
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 180°C / 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Toss the cauliflower florets with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and spread in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper.1 medium cauliflower, salt and pepper, 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Roast the cauliflower, stirring when halfway through, until the florets are golden brown and slightly crisp on the outside, about 30 minutes.
- If you don't have pre-cooked kamut (or other chewy whole grain) on hand, this is a good time to cook it. Bring a medium pot of water to the boil, salt it well, and add the uncooked kamut. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 25-30 minutes until the grains are tender but still chewy. Drain, rinse in cold water, and set aside. Cook some extra to keep in the freezer so you'll have some handy for next time!1 cup cooked kamut
- While the cauliflower is roasting, toast the pine nuts in a small frying pan over medium heat, stirring frequently until nutty smelling and golden - about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.¼ cup pine nuts
- In a large bowl combine the roasted cauliflower, kamut, cannellini beans, toasted pine nuts, capers, and parsley.14 oz can cannellini beans, ½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, 3 Tablespoons capers
- To make the dressing, in a small bowl whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, and lemon zest. Slowly whisk in ¼ cup water (or more if you like a looser dressing) and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.⅓ cup tahini paste, 3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, ¼ cup water, salt and freshly ground black pepper
- To serve, divide the salad into bowls and drizzle with tahini dressing. Sprinkle with extra capers and parsley.
- Nutrition values are an estimate only.
- To make ahead simply leave the dressing off until you're about to serve.
- Packed lunches can be pre-dressed, but a wedge of lemon tucked along side is nice to freshen it up.
- If you're cooking kamut or another whole grain for this dish, cook two or three times as much as you need and freeze the leftovers in 1 cup portions for future meals.
- Adapted from Bon Appetit via Inquiring Chef