A few months ago, I got an idea to roast cauliflower florets with dinner. I roasted the cauliflower with olive oil, salt, pepper, and dried thyme. It was so yummy that now I can’t stop thinking of flavors to roast with it or ingredients to mix in. It’s honestly very delicious on its own, but that’s never enough for me.
Roasted Cauliflower Salad
Last week, I was hit with the idea of a roasted cauliflower guacamole with pureed cauliflower and avocado. I haven’t tried that yet, but this Mexican flavored Roasted Cauliflower Salad is the first step down that path of deliciousness. And these mango margaritas on the rocks will hopefully be there along the way!
How do I you bake Cauliflower in the oven?
Roasting or baking cauliflower in the oven couldn’t be any easier. You follow the same process you do for roasting pretty much all vegetables...
Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces (big or small). To make cutting the head of cauliflower easier, I like to remove all the leaves and then slice it in half (top to bottom). Then you can remove that bottom bit of core. From there, I slice the cauliflower in roughly ¾″ slices (again top to bottom) before cutting each of those slices into ½-1″ pieces. The straight cut looks a little funny when it’s raw, but once it cooks, it looks just fine!
It’s important to note that smaller pieces of cauliflower take less time to cook (more like 30 minutes). Bigger pieces take longer (closer to 40 minutes). If I’m short on time roasting cauliflower, I’ll cut the pieces smaller and add a bit more olive oil to speed up the whole process.
MEXICAN ROASTED CAULIFLOWER SALAD
I've always loved cauliflower (even before it was trendy and cool). The best way to eat cauliflower in my opinion? Roasted of course. And why not take those scrumptious cauliflower florets with toasted corners and mix it into a delicious salad. The cumin and cotija cheese give this salad a delicious Mexican flavor and the quinoa is a boost of protein that's easy. This salad can be served as a side dish or a main dish (I like to add a fried egg on top)!
- 1 large head of cauliflower chopped (approx. 4-5 cups)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon chili flakes optional
- ½-3/4 teaspoons cayenne red pepper
- ¾ teaspoon each salt and pepper plus more to finish
- 2 avocados cubed
- 3 Tablespoons lime juice
- 1 cup cooked quinoa red for color
- ¼ cup crumbled cotija/queso fresco cheese*
- limes wedges for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Thoroughly combine chopped cauliflower, oil, cumin, chili flakes if using, red pepper, salt, and pepper. Spread evenly on large sheet pan. Roast for twenty minutes until cauliflower is tender.
Meanwhile, cube avocado.
Remove cauliflower from oven. Mix with avocado, quinoa, and cheese. Season with salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste. Top with lime wedges for garnish for tangier flavor.
*you could also use goat cheese for a creamier flavor. I'd recommend using more spice because of the sweetness of the goat cheese.