This savory and perfectly spiced cauliflower salad is topped with Moroccan spiced chickpeas and a spicy tahini dressing. Put it all on a bed of peppery arugula, top it with crunchy almonds and juicy pomegranates and you will have the salad of your dreams!
This is our all-time favorite salad, and we’re pretty positive it will become yours, too! This Sumac-Spiced Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Spiced Chickpeas and Tahini has the perfect combination of sweet, salty crunchy, and chewy with a perfect homemade tahini dressing to top it all off. People never expect a salad to be the star of the show, but this one totally is! It doubles as a salad and a light meal.
Choosing and Preparing Perfect Cauliflower
Pick cauliflower that is bright white in color without any soft or brown spots. Remove the green leaves from the bottom of the head and cut the bottom off. At this point, the florets should fall apart on their own! If they don't, gently pull them out of the head of cauliflower. You can cut the pieces as big or small as you’d like, just do your best to keep them uniform in size, so they cook evenly. Do you want to make it even easier? Use frozen cauliflower.
Ingredients in Cauliflower Salad
These ingredients are all really easy to have and keep on hand so you can quickly prepare this salad. We recommend storing everything separately and combining them right before eating.
- Baby arugula - We love the peppery flavor of arugula, but you could use spinach, kale, or any of your favorite lettuce or spring mix.
- Almonds - Roasted hazelnuts, toasted pine nuts, or candied pecans would also be delicious.
- Pomegranates - We love the tanginess and crunch from pomegranate seeds! You could also use persimmons, apples, pears, peaches, plums, or nectarines. Look for in-season fruit!
- Roasted cauliflower - Roasting cauliflower florets is easy and the result is cauliflower with a perfect crunch on the outside and a tender middle. Cauliflower can be roasted 1-2 days ahead.
- Spiced chickpeas - This is our favorite way to cook chickpeas! They’re tossed in oil and Moroccan seasonings and cooked for a few minutes on the stovetop. They add plant-based protein to this cauliflower salad! Spiced chickpeas can be made 1-2 days ahead.
- Spicy Tahini Dressing - The secret sauce is tahini sauce! This is a homemade dressing made with tahini, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, maple, and hot sauce. Yum! This tahini dressing will last up to a week in the fridge.
How to Roast Cauliflower
This is really simple and takes just enough time to prepare all the other elements of the Cauliflower Salad!
- Heat your oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the cauliflower ( fresh or frozen) on the sheet and spread it out so the florets are touching as little as possible.
- Drizzle it all with olive oil and sprinkle it with salt and sumac. Toss until everything is well-coated and bake for 40 minutes.
How to Make Cauliflower Salad
This salad comes together quickly with maximum flavor! Here’s how we assemble everything.
- Start by roasting cauliflower on a sheet pan. While that’s in the oven, toss the chickpeas in oil and spices for Quick Moroccan Spiced Chickpeas! They’ll only need a couple of minutes on the stovetop.
- Make the dressing. That can be done with a bowl and a whisk or even just by shaking the ingredients in a Mason jar with a lid.
- Finally, assemble everything in a large bowl or on a large platter! Lettuce, cauliflower, and chickpeas sprinkled with almonds and pomegranate seeds. Finish it off with Spicy Tahini Dressing!
- Roasted cauliflower, spiced chickpeas, and tahini dressing can all be made 1-2 days ahead and the cauliflower salad can be assembled when ready to eat.
Variations for Cauliflower Salad
You can add tempeh bacon for a nice touch! It's vegan and delicious!
Fresh herbs such as basil or rosemary are a nice touch.
If you want to try different vegetable combinations you can try red bell pepper, red onion, pitted olives, or grated carrots.
Vegan cheese or your favorite cheese could work on our roasted cauliflower chickpea salad. Feta cheese, goat cheese, or blue cheese are all complementary. Some enjoy it with cheddar cheese.
Hard-boiled eggs add some protein.
Garlic powder or freshly minced garlic may be added.
Toasted sesame seeds add a little crunch.
Lemon Tahini dressing would also work. A dash of fresh lemon juice might also brighten everything up.
Try Our Other Delicious Cauliflower Recipes
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This savory and perfectly-spiced cauliflower salad is topped with Moroccan spiced chickpeas and a spicy tahini dressing. Put it all on a bed of peppery arugula, top it with almonds and pomegranates and you will have the salad of your dreams!
- For the roasted cauliflower:
- 1 medium cauliflower head, washed and cut into small florets or 2 lbs frozen cauliflower, rinsed slightly, and cut into even size pieces.
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp sumac (optional, but recommended)
- ¼ tsp salt
- For the spiced chickpeas:
- 2 tsp sweet paprika
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1- 15oz can chickpeas, rinse and drained
- For the Salad
- 5 oz baby arugula or any other salad of your choice, thoroughly washed and dried
- 1 ½ cups pomegranates seeds ( about 1 small pomegranate)
- 2 tbsp roasted almonds, chopped
- For the dressing:
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoon tahini
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoon water
- ½ tsp salt (or to taste)
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- ½ -1 teaspoon spicy green dragon sauce, or any other hot sauce (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400F
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place cauliflower on the baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Toss well until well coated. Bake for 40 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender. Set aside
- In a small bowl, combine sweet paprika, cumin, turmeric, salt, and black pepper. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add chickpeas and spices and toss gently, so the chickpeas are well coated with oil and spices. Cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, until warm. Set aside
- To prepare the dressing, whisk together tahini and lemon juice ( the mix will thicken). Slowly whisk in water and salt, until well incorporated. Add vinegar, maple syrup, and green dragon sauce (if using) and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to use
- Divide baby arugula into 2 large salad plates or bowls ( or 1 if you're sharing the salad). Top each plate with warm cauliflower and chickpeas. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and candied pecan
- Add Tahini dressing to taste.
- Extra dressing can be kept in the fridge for up to a week
- Cauliflower can be roasted 1-2 days ahead, kept in the fridge, and reheated before adding to the arugula
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Category: Salad
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern
- Serving Size: ¼ of the recipe with 2 tablespoon of tahini dressing
- Calories: 480
- Sugar: 21
- Sodium: 816
- Fat: 27.7
- Saturated Fat: 3.7
- Unsaturated Fat: 24
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 51.3
- Fiber: 14.8
- Protein: 16.9
- Cholesterol: 0
Keywords: Roasted cauliflower, cauliflower salad recipe, salad as a meal, kosher, gluten-free