When you need an impressive salad to serve your gourmet friends, make our roasted cauliflower salad with lemon tahini dressing inspired by Budget Bytes. The combination of cauliflower, red onion, spiced chickpeas, and crumbled feta tossed with a homemade tahini dressing will tantalize their taste buds and they’ll be begging for the recipe.
Raw cauliflower rarely gets rave reviews, but roasted cauliflower can bring the pickiest eaters to their knees. Roasting this mild-flavored, pale-colored crucifer transforms it from an often overlooked vegetable to a tender, golden, and nutty-sweet veg that salad-hungry eaters can’t get enough of. Roasting is also the easiest way to cook cauliflower. For this recipe, simply toss with olive oil, red onion, salt, and pepper, and roast at 400 F for about 30 minutes. Once roasted, the cauliflower goes into a bowl and awaits the rest of the salad ingredients and the lemon tahini dressing.
What exactly is tahini? If you’ve ever dipped a pita chip into hummus, you’ve likely taken a bite of this indispensable Middle Eastern ingredient. Tahini is a thick, creamy ground sesame seed paste (aka sesame seed butter) used to make savory dishes, such as hummus, baba ganoush, and tahini sauce, as well as sweet treats, such as halva and sesame seed cookies. Try tahini in place of peanut butter or almond butter in savory sauces, dips, smoothies, and desserts. The sesame seed flavor will bring new life to your usual eats. You can find tahini in the Middle Eastern section of your supermarket or at local specialty markets.
Homemade dressing is just a couple of minutes away. To make the lemon tahini dressing, combine tahini, water and lemon juice (which will thin the tahini), minced garlic, ground cumin, toasted cayenne, and salt in a blender. Blend until smooth. Easy-peasy and oh so good!
Spiced chickpeas—also called garbanzo beans—add a golden color and a delicious boost of protein and fiber to the salad. Instead of tossing them in raw, we cook them in a skillet with olive oil and spices, which drives their flavor into the beans, giving them a lovely heat. Sizzle the chickpeas just until they become slightly crispy and set them aside until you’re ready to toss the salad.
To assemble the salad, add the chickpeas and fresh parsley to the roasted cauliflower and red onion, tossing to combine. Drizzle the lemon tahini dressing over the cauliflower mixture and toss to coat. Garnish this dish with crumbled feta cheese and serve. Delish!
Combine cauliflower florets, red onion, olive oil, salt, and pepper
To prepare the cauliflower for roasting, in a large bowl, toss the cauliflower, red onion, olive oil, salt, and pepper together.
Roast the cauliflower and red onions
Roasting brings out the best flavors cauliflower has to offer: nutty, sweet, scrumptiousness. Spread cauliflower and red onions in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast at 400 F for 20 minutes.
Turn the cauliflower mixture over for even roasting
Using tongs, flip the cauliflower florets and red onion slices over. Continue to roast for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until the cauliflower is fork tender and browned on the edges. Cool slightly.
Make the lemon tahini dressing
Homemade dressings are so fast and easy — a delicious alternative to buying bottled dressing. In a blender, combine tahini, water, lemon juice, garlic, toasted ground cumin, toasted cayenne, and salt. Blend until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use. Note: To toast the cumin and cayenne, simply put them in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat and shake for a minute or two or until fragrant.
Cook the spiced chickpeas
Canned chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are more convenient than homemade chickpeas. Keep a few cans in your pantry in case you don’t have time to cook dried chickpeas. In a large skillet over medium heat, combine chickpeas, olive oil, smoked paprika, garlic powder, Aleppo pepper, salt, and black pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until the chickpeas sizzle and become slightly crispy.
Assemble the salad
This delicious and nutritious salad comes together fast and easy. Add the chickpeas and chopped fresh parsley to the roasted cauliflower and red onions. Toss to combine. Drizzle the homemade lemon tahini dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Garnish with crumbled feta cheese and serve.
Roasted cauliflower salad with lemon tahini dressing
AuthorRecipe inspired by Budget Bytes
1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
1/2 red onion, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 bunch fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
For lemon tahini dressing:
1/3 cup tahini
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin, toasted
1/2 teaspoon cayenne, toasted
1/4 teaspoon salt
For spiced chickpeas:
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed, drained
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Place the cauliflower and red onion in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, toss well, and season with salt and pepper.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the cauliflower mixture onto the baking sheet, spreading it out.
Roast for 20 minutes.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and turn the cauliflower mixture over. Return to the oven and roast for 10 to 15 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender and browned on the edges. Cool slightly. Transfer to a large bowl.
Dressing: Place tahini, water, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, cayenne, and salt into a blender. Blend until smooth. Place the dressing in the refrigerator until ready to assemble.
Chickpeas: In a large skillet over medium heat, combine chickpeas, olive oil, smoked paprika, Aleppo pepper, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes, or until the chickpeas sizzle and become slightly crispy. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Salad: Add the chickpeas and chopped parsley to the cauliflower mixture, tossing to combine.
Drizzle the lemon tahini dressing over the top and toss to coat.