A sweet and mildly spicy salad recipe that combines orange, sultanas, quinoa and roasted cauliflower for a satisfying main meal or side salad.
I love to throw a combination of ingredients together to create substantial salads that satisfy as a complete meal.
My Basic Salad Formula
I generally create salads in an intuitive way with a basic formula that includes:
- a base of a grain or starchy veg (as this satisfies my hunger and gives salad substance),
- other veggies and fruits,
- protein, and
- a flavour profile that encompasses sweet, salty, sour and spicy (to satisfy taste).
Many of the salads that I create are based on what is available in the fridge and pantry but also take into consideration flavour combinations of various cuisines.
In the case of this recipe for Roasted Cauliflower Orange and Quinoa Salad, I’ve drawn on some of the flavours that are traditionally combined in Moroccan couscous.
Like traditional Moroccan couscous, it contains spices such as cumin and turmeric, sultanas and herbs. However, I’ve taken a lot of creative licence with this recipe. And you can too!
Intuitive Salad Construction
Feel free to add or extract from the recipe as you wish.
For example, you could use lemon instead of orange. You could add a can of drained chickpeas or top the salad with Crispy Chickpea Croutons. You could use slivered almonds instead of pumpkin seeds. Or mint instead of parsley.
Hey, you could even omit the cauliflower and replace it with baked carrots, capsicum and zucchini!
My intention in sharing this recipe is to help you get more creative and intuitive with salad preparation rather than to provide a recipe that is perfectly curated. I hope you enjoy it. Let me know in the comments below.
Roasted Cauliflower Orange and Quinoa Salad
Ingredients – Baked Cauliflower
- 1 head cauliflower cut into florets
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
Ingredients – Salad
- 2 cups quinoa cooked or cook ¾ cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 cup sultanas
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup parsley, loosely packed, roughly chopped
- 1 orange, juiced
- ½ orange, zest
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
Method – Baked Cauliflower
- Heat oven to 200°C.
- Toss cauliflower in olive oil, smoked paprika and salt. Spread cauliflower on two baking trays lined with baking paper.
- Roast for 15 minutes. Then flip pieces over so that they can caramelise on both sides. Roast for another 10-15 minutes, until golden with a few brown spots on top. It will require approximately 25-35 minutes all up to cook through.
Method – Construct Salad
- Combine all salad ingredients with cauliflower in a mixing bowl and then serve on a platter or salad bowl. You can enjoy the salad warm or cold.
Tips for perfect roasted cauliflower florets
Slice cauliflower to maximise flat edges
Cutting cauliflower into bite-sized pieces with plenty of flat edges will help to increase caramelisation.
To maximise flat edges, start by slicing off leaves and stem to form a flat base. Then place the flat side on a cutting board. Cut the cauliflower into quarters and then cut into 1 cm slices.
Cut apart any florets that are stuck together.
Don’t overcrowd the baking tray
If crowded on the baking tray, the florets will produce steam and minimise crispiness. Thus, keep the florets spaced out.
Bake at a relatively high temperature and flip over during cooking
200oC is optimal to give golden edges to your cauliflower.
Check it at 15 minutes and then flip pieces over so that they can caramelise on both sides. Cook for a total of 25-30, until golden brown.