roasted cauliflower, feta, & orzo salad

cauliflower salad.jpg

Cauliflower, I know. Please don’t run away! Hear me out on this one.

This was another camping trip recipe favorite between four self-proclaimed “I don’t usually love cauliflower” people. I just don’t know what else to say except this salad is SO good. Ridiculously good. Please make it as soon as you can. We made it on a Friday and found ourselves snacking on it over the next few days. We just couldn’t get enough.

This salad has it all–saltiness from the feta, sweetness from the dried cranberries, tang from the lemon juice & Dijon, and garlicky goodness from the roasted cauliflower. There’s a bit of orzo in there, but not enough that you have to sacrifice calling this a healthy salad. I mean, there is a whole container of fresh baby spinach in there too.

If you ever have to sign up for a potluck lunch and you’re not sure what to bring, BRING THIS. And I promise you’ll be a hit. The flavors, textures and colors are all beautiful and delicious. And it keeps well over the course of a couple of days.

Another favorite from Chrissy Teigan’s cookbook, Cravings, by the way. That girl knows her stuff.

ROASTED CAULIFLOWER, FETA & ORZO SALAD

  • Inspired by Chrissy Teigan
  • Yields: 6-8 servings (if serving as a side); 4 servings (if serving as a meal)

Ingredients:

For the salad:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry orzo pasta
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 oz. feta cheese crumbles
  • 2/3 cup dried cherries
  • 5 oz. baby spinach

For the dressing:

  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp. freshly squeeze lemon juice *Original recipe calls for only 3 Tbsp. but I thought it needed a bit more.
  • 1 tsp. pure honey
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. For the cauliflower: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a mixing bowl, toss together the cauliflower, 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Spread it out onto the baking sheet and roast 20-25 minutes until soft and the edges start to char a bit. Set aside and allow to cool while you make everything else.
  2. For the orzo: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook about 1-2 minutes shy of al-dente. Drain and rinse with cool water. Dry well (I used a clean kitchen towel) and set aside.
  3. For the dressing and rest of the salad: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dressing (extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, honey, mustard, salt & pepper). Add in the cooked orzo, cooled & roasted cauliflower, sliced red onion, feta, and dried cherries. Toss until well coated with dressing and serve. Keeps 2-3 days in the fridge.

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