Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Salad

by Mary on October 8, 2016

Roasted garlic cauliflower salad

Roasted garlic cauliflower salad

Last winter I had a roasted garlic cauliflower salad at a neighborhood restaurant that sounded so good, but disappointed. I’ve been experimenting at home since to get the salad I craved. Dried-out cauliflower, burned garlic, and other problems ensued, but now I have what I want and the family called it excellent tonight.

I found that roasting the cauliflower uncovered, then covering it for the last 15 minutes or so kept it from getting too dry. I read an article about steam-roasting vegetables in Fine Cooking that takes a similar tack but in the opposite direction, roasting vegetables covered for a while and then uncovering them. I’ve adopted their steam-roasting method, but watch out for the steam! I opened the oven in a hurry and leaned into a near-scalding faceful of steam: don’t do the same!

2017 update: I’ve changed my method of cooking garlic for this. I used to use Fine Cooking‘s method of roasting garlic: smash the unpeeled cloves lightly with the flat of a knife and put them in the oven that way. The protective peel helps prevent scorching. But since I got a new oven my garlic kept scorching even with this method. I switched to roasting a whole head of garlic as in this recipe.

This cauliflower salad has become a regular recipe for me.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2 large or 3 medium dinner salads
For the roasted cauliflower:
  • 1 large or 2 small heads of cauliflower, about 2 or 3#
  • 1 head garlic, excess 'paper' peeled off and top ¼ to ½" of the cloves cut off with a sharp kitchen knife, 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil rubbed/poured into the cloves
  • ⅓ to ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • a few grinds of black pepper
  • ½ tsp. salt
For the rest of the salad
  • about 8 oz. of washed salad greens
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 or 3 scallions, chopped
  • olive oil, salt, pepper to taste
  1. Pre-heat oven to 425.
  2. Break and/or cut the cauliflower into small florets.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the cauliflower with the extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Sprinkle with a few grinds of black pepper and mix.
  4. Place the head of garlic, prepared as above, into a very small baking bowl or dish and place in the oven.
  5. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
  6. Put cauliflower florets on the baking sheet.
  7. Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil (it may take several large pieces) and place in oven.
  8. Cook for 10 minutes, then remove aluminum foil.
  9. Cook for 15 additional minutes.
  10. Cook for an additional ten minutes or so.
  11. Remove cauliflower when starting to brown, let cool.
  12. Squeeze cooked garlic cloves from the garlic head, mix back in with the cauliflower. (I don't wait for this, I use a kitchen glove and then wash the kitchen glove.)
  13. For the scallions, chop off the roots, finely chop most of the scallion, not including the leafy top of the stalk.
  14. Add cooled cauliflower and chopped scallions to the greens and mix. Add lemon juice plus additional salt and pepper as needed.
  15. Serve.


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