I'm going back to one of my favourite things this week, veggie salads, the warming and nourishing kind of salads that I love. But first, apologies for no recipes last week, the nasty virus' that are going around at the moment came back to visit and took the rest of my family down. So I was playing nurse for the week! Not my favourite role to play let me tell you. So yeah, roll on Spring! Anyway, I'm back with a tasty salad bowl for you, this lightly spiced roast cauliflower salad with lemony kale, creamy goat's cheese, toasted walnuts and juicy pomegranate. I'm sort of in love with this salad, it's warming and nourishing and you really don't feel like you've been eating a salad when you have this. That is, essentially, why I love it.
This time of year I have little patience for barely-there food, I need serious sustenance, especially in January. The dark days and dreadful weather make me want to eat everything around me so if I want to eat in a healthful way it better be very tasty and filling! This recipe is inspired by a recipe I found in the New York Times cooking section, it was a nice and delicate roast cauliflower salad with watercress, you can find it here. However, I wanted stronger flavours for my roast cauliflower salad.
So I doused the cauliflower florets in oil, cumin and smoked paprika then roasted them until the edges were charred, this gives the cauliflower a lovely nutty warming flavour. Kale is still in season and I love its strong flavour which I think I'm craving at the moment. Now, do not run or throw your phone at the wall, but you really need to massage the kale for this one. It's just a quick rub though, not an hour-long massage, no need to dig out that panpipe CD. Why do we have to do this? Well, it breaks down the kale and makes it more digestible and well, it makes it easier to eat.
You can serve this roast cauliflower salad warm or cold, I like to have the cauliflower warm though. I like when the goat's cheese melts on the cauliflower a little bit. The toasted walnuts and pumpkin seeds add more nuttiness and crunch to this salad and the creaminess of the goat's cheese is just perfect against the strong flavours of the roast cauliflower and kale. The little bursts of juicy pomegranate complete this salad and add a nice hit of sweetness.
I didn't make a dressing for this as I felt just a good squeeze of lemon juice and a generous serving of freshly cracked black pepper really was enough. But if you feel you need one then a lemon mustard vinaigrette would probably work well. This works great as a decent lunch for 4 or a light supper and would also be a great take to work lunch.
Roast Cauliflower Salad with Kale
- 1 head of cauliflower, (450g) cut into florets
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- ¾ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 level tsp ground cumin
- ½ level tsp smoked paprika
- 100 g kale shredded and woody stalks removed
- 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- The juice of half a medium lemon
- 75 g chopped walnuts toasted
- 75 g soft goat's cheese
- 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, 356F. I use a fan assisted electric oven please adjust the temperature to the oven you are using.
- In a large bowl add the olive oil, spice, black pepper and ¼ tsp of sea salt. Mix until combined. Add the cauliflower and mix well until all the cauliflower florets are covered in the spice mixture.Transfer the cauliflower to a baking tray then bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes turning the florets halfway through cooking. The cauliflower is done when it is golden brown and soft.
- While the cauliflower is cooking prep the kale. Place the kale in a large bowl with the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and the remaining salt.Start rubbing the juices into the kale, do this for about 5 minutes, then set the kale aside until ready to serve.
- When the cauliflower is done remove from the oven and leave it to cool slightly. Drain the kale and add to a large serving dish.Add the cauliflower to the kale and toss gently. Crumble the goat's cheese over the salad and add the toasted walnuts, pumpkin seeds and pomegranate. Serve with a good squeeze of lemon juice and some freshly cracked black pepper.
More Satisfying Salad Recipes For Lunch:
- Winter Salad of Kalettes and Stilton
- Roasted Carrots with Buckwheat and Spinach
- Roasted Butternut Squash with Sage and Walnuts
- Chicken Taco Salad
- Kale, Blood Orange and Beetroot Salad with Quinoa
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