Roasted Cauliflower Fattoush

This salad proves that vegetables don’t have to taste bland.



From “The New Vegan”
January 2018

  • This cauliflower salad has enormous flavor, thanks to the marinades and toppings.
    Photography by Nassima Rothacker
  • “The New Vegan” by Aine Carlin dishes up more than 90 mouth-watering plant-based recipes carefully tailored for people giving up meat and dairy.
    Cover courtesy Kyle Books

Total Hands-On Time: 1hr 5 min

Preparation Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 2-4 servings

The New VeganNew Vegan by Aine Carlin (Kyle Books, 2017) is the essential cookbook for people who dream of going vegan but are daunted by the elimination of common animal-based ingredients from their diets. This recipe for Roasted Cauliflower Fattoush is anything but boring, with Tahini dressing, a marinade for the cauliflower, and a chile dressing.

Salads don’t have to be dull and boring. All they need is a little tender loving care (and perhaps the odd dash of spice) to really bring them to life. Here, I’m talking “in yer face” roasted cauliflower florets paired with toasted pita pieces and a creamy tahini dressing that will end your limp leaf memories and catapult you into what I’ve dubbed “Twenty-first Century Eating.” That’s where we have our cake (or in this case, salad) and eat it… flavor, texture, and freshness combined — there’s very little not to like about this recipe. So much so, I’d happily serve it for lunch, dinner, and even at parties — it never fails to get a bounty of enthusiastic “mmms” and “wows.” Now, when’s the last time you heard that said about a salad?

Ingredients:

• 1 small cauliflower, broken into small florets
• 1 little gem lettuce
• 5 to 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
• 1⁄3 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into half moons
• 5 to 6 radishes, coarsely chopped
• 2 pitas, toasted
• 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
• 1 tablespoon fresh mint
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For The Cauliflower Marinade:
• 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, plus extra to serve
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon chile powder
• 1/2 teaspoon allspice
• pinch of cayenne pepper
• juice of 1/2 lime
• 1 teaspoon agave nectar
• 1/2 tablespoon olive oil

For The Chile Salad Dressing:
• 1 teaspoon chile paste from a jar
• 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
• 1 teaspoon agave nectar
• juice of 1/2 lime
• 3 tablespoons olive oil

For The Tahini Dressing:
• 3 tablespoons hummus
• 2 tablespoons tahini
• 1 teaspoon agave nectar
• juice of 1/2 lime

Instructions:

 1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the cauliflower florets in a baking dish. Whisk the marinade ingredients together, along with some seasoning, to form a smooth paste and pour over the cauliflower florets. Toss together until everything is coated and bake for about 45 minutes or until nicely browned.

 2. Put the lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, and radishes in a large bowl. Whisk the chile dressing ingredients together and pour about one-third over the salad. Mix together.

3. Lightly toast or grill the pitas and cut into triangular bite-sized pieces. Drizzle over about one third of the chile dressing and add to the salad bowl.

 4. Finely chop the parsley, cilantro, and mint together on a clean cutting board and sprinkle two thirds over the salad bowl ingredients. Gently mix.

5. Whisk the tahini sauce ingredients together with 1/4 cup water until smooth, adding more water if necessary.

6. Remove the roasted cauliflower from the oven and lightly season with some sea salt. Add to the salad and gently toss. Serve in a bowl, drizzle with the tahini dressing and a smattering of smoked paprika, and garnish with the remaining parsley, cilantro, and mint.

More from The New Vegan:

Juices Without a Juicer
Green Lentil and Spinach Curry


Reprinted with permission from The New Vegan by Aine Carlin and published by Kyle Books, 2017.