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Published April 24th, 2024
Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Radicchio, Cranberries, Pepitas, and Goat Cheese
Roasted Cauliflower Salad Photos Susie Iventosch

This colorful salad is made with a delightful combination of flavors and textures, featuring roasted orange cauliflower, sweet, dried cranberries, slightly bitter radicchio, crunchy salted pepitas, and creamy goat cheese. It's all tossed together in a light and tangy Champagne vinaigrette and is the perfect balance of savory, sweet, tangy, and salty elements.
Cauliflower comes in a variety of colors, and you can make this dish with whichever you like best. I am partial to the beautiful orange, or what they call "cheddar" cauliflower. The color comes from a genetic mutation (not genetically modified) that allows the plant to store extra beta-carotene. Orange cauliflower has 25% more vitamin A than the more common white variety. If you look at purple cauliflower, that color comes from the antioxidant anthocyanin, found in red cabbage, radicchio, and red wine. Purple cauliflower is also an excellent source of Vitamin C. So, overall, colorful cauliflower is not only beautiful, but healthier, too!
We usually roast our cauliflower before using it in recipes; it really brings out the flavor and sweetness, plus it looks so good. Tossed in a little bit of olive oil and your favorite seasonings, it's a great veggie dish all by itself, but it's also fantastic mashed and used in place of potatoes, or tossed in a salad like this recipe. We especially love this salad with Champagne or Prosecco vinaigrette, but if you don't have either in your pantry, white wine vinegar works well too. For a little variety, replace the pepitas with roasted pistachios or toasted pecans.
"I like to roast the cauliflower a day or two ahead of time to make it quicker and easier to assemble the salad when I'm ready. My family prefers a slightly tangy salad dressing, so we like to go light on the olive oil, but if you prefer it a little less tangy, then simply add more olive oil, a tablespoon at a time, until you reach the desired taste."
Salad Ingredients
1 head orange cauliflower
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. lemon pepper (or salt and pepper)
3/4 cup roasted & salted pepitas (can use pistachios or pecans)
3/4 cup dried cranberries
4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
1 cup finely shredded or thinly sliced radicchio
1 head romaine lettuce
Salt & pepper to taste
Champagne Vinaigrette
1/4 cup Champagne vinegar (or Prosecco vinegar)
1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp. white pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1 small shallot finely diced, and sautéed if you prefer it cooked
Prepare Cauliflower/Salad
Preheat oven to 425F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Set aside.
Clean and cut the head of cauliflower into florets. Toss with olive oil and season with lemon pepper, or salt and pepper.
Lay the florets out onto the prepared baking sheet. Roast for about 20-25 minutes, or until the cauliflower is just beginning to brown and is knife tender, but still al dente. Remove from oven and cool. Cut into bite-sized pieces. This step can be done a day or two ahead of time.
Meanwhile, make dressing (recipe below), slice the radicchio, and clean and tear Romaine into bite-size pieces. Set aside.
When ready to serve, toss roasted cauliflower with radicchio, cranberries, pepitas, and goat cheese. Toss in vinaigrette and serve over a bed of romaine.
Champagne Vinaigrette
Finely dice shallots. If you like them raw, then add them with the rest of the ingredients to a container with a tight-fitting lid. If you prefer them sautéd or even caramelized, then cook them in a little bit of olive oil until desired doneness, and then add them to the remaining ingredients. Shake well.

Susie can be reached at suziventosch@gmail.com. This recipe can be found on our website: www.lamorindaweekly.com. If you would like to share your favorite recipe with Susie please contact her by email or call our office at (925) 377-0977. Or visit https://treksandbites.com

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