It seems like lately I’ve been creating salad recipes mainly as a vessel for sauces. I made a Wedge Salad mainly because I wanted something to pour buttermilk-style dressing over, and I created a Roasted Carrot Salad because I wanted to drown it in green goddess dressing. Don’t get me wrong – I do love my salads, but a salad is just a pile of blah vegetables without a good dressing. I created this Roasted Cauliflower Dressing because I was craving a creamy Caesar-like dressing.
Throughout the summer I was making raw salads, but as the weather is getting cooler, I’ve been roasting my vegetables. Roasting vegetables brings out their sweetness and adds another depth of flavor. It also creates a bit of warmth on chilly days. I love having salads for lunch and I continue to make them throughout the colder months. Adding roasted veggies to them makes them heartier and more filling, which is more appropriate for autumn and winter.
I’ve served this Roasted Cauliflower Salad over a simple bed of lettuce, but you could add more vegetables, such as carrots and broccoli, if you like. The dressing is so good that you might want to make a double batch of it to pour over other dishes. It’s great drizzled over just about any kind of roasted vegetable, poured onto baked potatoes, spread on sandwiches and wraps, or even dolloped on a Sunday morning tofu scramble. It’s so good I caught my cat Archie trying to give it a try!
Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Creamy Cashew Dressing
For the Salad
- 2 heads of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
- 1½ cups cooked chickpeas, or 1 14-ounce can
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 head leafy lettuce, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup chopped fresh parsley, loosely packed
- ¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
For the Dressing
- ½ cup raw cashews, soaked for two hours, rinsed, and drained
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon mellow white miso
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 teaspoons capers, drained
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
Preheat the oven to 425° and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower florets with half of the oil and ¼ teaspoon each of the sea salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Spread the florets out on one of the baking sheets. Toss the chickpeas together with the rest of the oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Spread them out on the remaining baking sheet.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender and has browned and the chickpeas are crisp. Allow to cool slightly.
While the cauliflower and chickpeas are roasting, mix together the dressing ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processer until smooth and creamy. If the mixture is too thick, add a little more water, a teaspoon at a time.
In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower and chickpeas together with dressing. Fold in the parsley and pumpkin seeds. Season with more salt and pepper to taste, if desired.
Divide the lettuce among four bowls or plates, and then top with the cauliflower mixture. This salad tastes great at room temperature or chilled in the fridge.