Spice Roasted Cauliflower Salad

When I was a child, my mother had a stock response that came out when I asked what was for dinner. “Something out of my head”, she would say mysteriously. From memory, this meant either “some sort of casserole” or “I haven’t decided yet”. Worryingly, the Small Girl has now started asking “what are we having tonight?” when she gets up in the morning. I have no idea what we’re having tonight, but this is “something out of my head” from last week (and very good it was too).

Spice Roasted Cauliflower Salad Photo Credit: Lucy Corry/The Kitchenmaid

Spice Roasted Cauliflower Salad
There have been beautiful cauliflowers for sale for practically nothing at the vege market, but I often buy one and then can’t think what to do with it. After reading Molly Wizenberg’s ‘A Homemade Life’ recently, in which she describes caramelised roast cauliflower (among other things), I started looking at the cauliflower in my fridge in a different light. I’ve used Molly’s cauliflower cutting method below, but the rest is all my own work. If you don’t have the spices below you could substitute a good curry powder.

Spice mix:
1tsp cumin seeds (or ground cumin)
1tsp coriander seeds
a good pinch or two of cayenne pepper (less if you are frightened of hot stuff)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2tsp ground ginger
1/2tsp garam masala
1/2tsp salt

1 cauliflower
1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3-4Tbsp olive oil

3 handfuls of spinach, washed, dried and shredded

1/2 cup plain, natural yoghurt mixed with juice of a lemon, 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard and a tablespoon of good extra virgin olive oil, plus salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 220. Put all the spices in a small bowl and stir well.
Wash and dry the cauliflower, then sit it on a chopping board, stem end down. Cut into 1cm-ish slices – some will break into little bits, others will stay whole. This is ok. Cut out and discard any big bits of stem. Transfer the cauliflower into a large bowl, tip in the chickpeas (if using), the spices and the olive oil. Mix well, using your hands, until everything is well coated. Tip into a large roasting dish and put in the oven for 20-30 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender and crispy. Set it aside to cool slightly.
Put the prepared spinach in a serving bowl, tip the cauliflower and chickpeas on top, then drizzle the yoghurt dressing on top. Makes a good take-to-work lunch and is especially good alongside some simply cooked fish. Serves four generously.

What are you having for dinner tonight?



  1. October 4, 2011 / 5:59 pm

    I think we must be sisters!!! My mother said the same, we also had 'wait and see' pudding and when she arranged flowers she would be 'doing something artistic on top of the piano'lol! I call it bottom of the fridge cooking, your fridge must be a bit like mine, cavernous and all consuming. Lovely recipe.

  2. October 4, 2011 / 6:59 pm

    Roast cauliflower is one of my favourite things on earth. Used to make it every night but haven't had it in ages, will have to change that.

    My mum used to say similar things to me 🙂

  3. October 4, 2011 / 7:32 pm

    I cook from memory and how I feel that day,but bake always according to the recepie.
    Roasted cauliflower sounds good,Mostly after cooking it I put cheese sauce on it and under the grill for couple of minutes.
    Toight I am making one of my favourites sweet and sour pork

  4. October 4, 2011 / 8:00 pm

    oh this is just the kind of thing I love!… we used to ask our grandma what soup she was making for dinner and she would always answer ' snake soup' trying to be clever and shut us up… never worked!

  5. October 4, 2011 / 8:20 pm

    Yum! (do all my comments on your blog start with that??!)
    I learnt to make something similar from an Indian housemate I had once – served with dhal and yoghurt too. It's the ultimate cheap dinner, love it.

  6. October 4, 2011 / 8:32 pm

    Looks delicious! I've never tried cauliflower with this spice blend before. Usually I roast it or mash it in with, or in the place of, potatoes. It will be nice to have something different.

  7. October 4, 2011 / 9:21 pm

    roast cauli is so good, for dinner tonight i'm trying a new chicken curry recipe …. my boys only want to know whats for dessert ….

  8. October 4, 2011 / 9:32 pm

    Hehe, this is my kind of salad! I absolutely adore cauliflower, it's amazing with spices or cheese or herbs or just on its own, as long as it's seared a little first (the smell is so swoony).

    I had to prep ingredients before my parents got back from work late, so I always knew roughly was dinner was going to be! Also my parents were very stuck to stir fries and rice, and I've always wondered whether all Chinese families cook(ed) that way or just mine.

  9. October 4, 2011 / 9:41 pm

    this looks so good and sooooooo right up my alley! 🙂

  10. October 4, 2011 / 10:26 pm

    Nanna used to say, when asked what was for lunch "bread and pullet". It was never a chicken sandwich, so I wonder now if what she really meant was BREAD,and if you don't like it you can PULL IT – she could be a bit tetchy1

  11. October 5, 2011 / 1:33 am

    Yum! I love roast cauli and I know this is a dish that my veggie Mum is going to love , so I'll bookmark that one!

  12. October 5, 2011 / 9:36 am

    I make something similar at home, its a great spiced cauli curry dish and good for vegetarians too! Love the spices you have used

  13. October 6, 2011 / 8:54 am

    Delicious! Caulis are really good at the moment and I've been looking for new things to do with them, so thanks! Husband can't understand why you would ever need to stray from cauliflower cheese (although I must admit I have some sympathy for that view). And the yoghurt dressing looks gorgeous!

  14. October 6, 2011 / 12:40 pm

    Oh I am torn now, do I make this or cauliflower soup – its cold and wet here you see 🙁

  15. March 6, 2014 / 4:59 am

    Thank you for sharing your recipe we really enjoy it and now a firm family fav!
    Love Leanne

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