Dried apricots, olives, and toasted nuts fill this cauliflower salad with contrasting textures and flavors. A delicious side dish or make-ahead lunch!
This cauliflower salad recipe has quite a few components, but don’t let them scare you! All of them can be made in advance for speedy assembly, and each one adds something essential to the salad. Here’s what’s in it:
- Cauliflower, of course! Instead of adding raw cauliflower to the salad, I roast it until it’s tender, nutty, and golden brown.
- French green lentils – They add earthy flavor and plenty of plant-based protein. To brighten them up, I season them with lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon mustard, and a good bit of sea salt and pepper.
- Pickled red onions and olives – For a bright pop of flavor! If you’re not an olive person, capers would be great here too.
- Tahini sauce – It’s creamy, nutty, and bright.
- Toasted nuts – For crunch! I like pine nuts and sliced almonds. Pepitas are a great nut-free option.
- Dried apricots – I love how their sweet flavor plays off the bright, briny onions and olives. Medjool dates would work nicely too!
- And arugula – For a peppery kick and a touch of green.
This bright, hearty cauliflower salad is filled with pickled onions, arugula, dried apricots, and a creamy tahini dressing. It’s a great make-ahead lunch or dinner side dish. Vegan and gluten-free.
- Florets from 1 small head of cauliflower
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- 2 cups arugula
- 1/2 cup cooked Lemon-Herb French Green Lentils
- Lemon wedges, for squeezing and serving
- 1/2 cup Tahini Sauce
- ¼ cup Pickled Onions
- ¼ cup pine nuts, sliced almonds, or pepitas
- 4 dried apricots or dates, diced
- ¼ cup chopped olives or 1 tablespoon capers
- Microgreens, optional
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Roast the cauliflower. Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the cauliflower florets with drizzles of olive oil and pinches of salt and pepper and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until browned around the edges.
- In a medium bowl, toss the arugula and roasted cauliflower with a drizzle with olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, and a pinch of salt. Spread onto a platter and drizzle ⅓ of the tahini sauce on top. Sprinkle on the lentils, the pickled onions, pine nuts, apricots, and olives. Drizzle with the remaining tahini dressing (or as much as you like) and top with microgreens, if using. Season to taste and serve.