A gorgeous roasted cauliflower quinoa salad tossed with young arugula leaves, feta cheese, pomegranate seeds and toasted almonds. This simple and easy to make cumin and coriander spiced cauliflower quinoa salad is lightly dressed with a freshly squeezed lemon juice for the perfect lunch or side dish!
Everything you need to make this cauliflower quinoa salad
This simple and tasty cauliflower quinoa salad recipe has has everything a well-rounded salad needs — veggies, a grain, nuts for crunch, a bright dressing, and a little cheese. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
For the vegetables: cauliflower is spiced with cumin, coriander and salt & pepper and roasted in the oven to bring out its best flavor. Arugula adds a little peppery bite to this salad. It could easily be traded out for fresh herbs, like a mix of parsley, mint and cilantro.
For the grain: we are using a gluten-free pseudo grain for this salad — quinoa. I love it for its slightly nutty taste and unique texture. Feel free to use white quinoa or tri-color.
For the add-ins: toss this salad together with toasted almonds for crunch, pomegranate seeds for their sweet-tart flavor and pleasant crunch, and feta for a tangy, salty taste and creamy texture.
For the dressing: in all its simplicity, lemon and olive oil let the other ingredients shine. Of course, you could spice things up with a little garlic or finely diced shallot. Maybe even a pinch of cayenne.
Make this roasted cauliflower salad your own
Like most of my salads, this cauliflower quinoa salad is also versatile in its composition! Here are some delicious ways to mix it up:
- Instead of pomegranate seeds, you could easily add in some dried cranberries or some diced sweet-tart apple.
- Almonds could be traded out for roasted cashews or pine nuts. Or try walnuts! They would also be delicious in place of the almonds.
- Add a little more spice. The cauliflower can also be roasted with a little turmeric, garlic powder and cayenne for extra depth of flavour. Or try using ras el hanout.
- Skip the greens and add a mix of soft fresh herbs, like parsley, mint and coriander. Or up the bitterness and use watercress instead of arugula.
- Switch out the simple olive oil and lemon dressing for a more intensely flavoured one. Just mix together the following:
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 garlic clove minced
2 teaspoons of maple syrup or honey
Looking for other quinoa salad ideas?
Try one of these favourite quinoa recipes:
- Quinoa Salad with Roasted Eggplant and Cherry Tomatoes
- Quinoa Salad with Za’atar, Herbs & Pistachio
- Moroccan-Style Quinoa Salad
- Quinoa Salad with Orange, Mint, Parsley & Almonds
Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Quinoa, Feta and Almonds
For the salad:
- 150 g quinoa (3/4 cup)
- juice from 1 large lemon, plus more to taste
- extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup raw almonds, lightly toasted and roughly chopped (50 g)
- 100 g feta cheese, crumbled
- 50 g young arugula leaves (2 large handfuls)
- seeds of 1/2 pomegranate, plus more to serve
For the roasted cauliflower:
- 1 medium head of cauliflower
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1,5 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
In a medium saucepan cook the quinoa according to package instructions, in 2,5 times water over medium heat until water is absorbed (15-20 minutes). Remove from heat, fluff quinoa with a fork, and transfer to a large serving bowl to cool.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F / 200°C (180°C fan-assisted).
Grind the coriander and cumin in the mortar and pestle, then transfer to large bowl and add the oil. Add the cauliflower florets and toss until evenly coated with the spiced oil. Transfer the cauliflower onto the the prepared baking tray. Spread in an even layer, without crowding and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes or until lightly browned and tender, tossing halfway through. Set aside to cool.
Transfer the roasted cauliflower to the bowl with the quinoa. Drizzle with the fresh lemon juice, and a little olive oil. Add most of the feta and almonds, and toss gently to combine. Add the arugula leaves and half the pomegranate seeds; toss again to incorporate. Taste and adjust seasonings, as desired.
Garnish the salad with the remaining feta, almonds and pomegranate seeds. Serve and enjoy!
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