Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Spicy Dressing

Roasted Cauliflower Salad (26)

Long weekends are great, aren’t they? I gave myself permission to disconnect from the world for 2.75 days to meditate, sleep in, go outside, and cook.

On Friday, I walked to the discount grocery store in search of a new ingredient that I could experiment with over the weekend, something I’d never heard of before. A little stroll down the ethnic isle was in order.

That’s when I found harissa. Have you heard of it? The jar looked interesting, the ingredients (red chili peppers, garlic, salt, oil, coriander, caraway and cumin) intrigued me and, to top it all off, it was on sale. I’m a sucker for sales but a weakling when it comes to spicy things… my love of buying things for cheap won the battle this time. I figured I could just dull down the spiciness by adding some ultra sweet goodness to whatever I made with it.

I walked home with my new ingredient tucked away in my jacket pocket, started up the computer and searched Pinterest for some harissa inspiration. The first recipe I found was a roasted cauliflower salad created by Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen. The second was another roasted cauliflower salad from Karen at Family Style Food. Each recipe wasequally as beautiful, so I combined them, removed the cheese, and simplified things a touch.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad (4)

This recipe is full of flavor, isn’t too spicy, and should definitely be doubled. You will want more of this. The 2 entree-sized servings that it makes just isn’t enough.

The soaked raisins and roasted sweet onion lend just enough sweetness to balance the spicy kick of the harissa…. it’s magic in a bowl!


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4.9 from 9 reviews
Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Spicy Dressing
Recipe type: Vegan, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Sugar-free, Yeast-free, Corn-free, Grain-free, Nut-free, Egg-free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
Deliciously spicy salad with juicy sweet raisins, roasted cauliflower and chickpeas.
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons raisins
  • 1 tablespoon Harissa (Tunisian hot chili sauce)
  • 1 head cauliflower, separated into bite-sized florets
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 sweet onion, sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon grape seed oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ cup loosely packed, finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • ½ cup loosely packed, finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Sea salt, to taste (I used 2 pinches)
  1. Preheat your oven to 400F and set out a large baking sheet.
  2. Add lemon juice, raisins and harissa to a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Add cauliflower florets, cooked chickpeas, onion, oil and cumin seeds to the large baking sheet and stir with your hands to coat all pieces in oil. Slide the baking sheet in the oven and roast veggies for 30 minutes, rotating once, or until cauliflower tops are lightly blackened. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  4. Add everything to a large bowl: roasted veggies, parsley, cilantro and soaked raisins with juices. Stir to coat, add salt to taste and serve!
Harissa can be purchased in the ethnic isle of any grocery store.
I used a white valencia onion.
Extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil would work well in this recipe.

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Roasted Cauliflower Salad (1)

Super simple ingredients. Super awesome salad (that’s inexpensive, too!)

It’s important that you begin by soaking the raisins in the lemon juice and harissa. Once it’s combined, just set aside until you’re ready for it, about 45 minutes.


Preheat the oven, combine the cauliflower, onion, oil and cumin and roast those babies until they’re lightly blackened.


Add everything to a bowl, and prepare for an epic feast!

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It’s just that easy!

Harissa and I? We’re best pals now.

If you like this grain-free, vegan recipe then you’re going to love the highly simplified, ultra awesome, vegan and grain-free dessert recipes in my new cookbook. I’ve loaded it with new grain-free, nut-free concepts that’ll rock your egg-free, vegan loving dessert world. We’re just weeks away from launch.

Subscribers of Healthful Pursuit will be receiving exclusive cookbook updates and advanced screenings of the book. So – make sure you’re on the list.

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I’d love to know…

Do you challenge yourself by purchasing ingredients you’ve never tried before?

Are there any foods that you’re terrified to try? Either because they’re ‘off limits’ to you, or they gross you out?

Tell me your story in the comments below.

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Comments | Leave Your Comment

  1. I was trying to make a large amount for a party so I used the largest cauliflower I could find and added in the stems, chopped, 2 cans of chickpeas as well as several handfuls of kale. I roasted it in batches – about 20 min; stirring every 10 minutes. I haven’t even added the dressing, parsley or cilantro and it is really good. I don’t eat veggies, but I’m adding this to my Friendsgiving menu for sure!

  2. This was amazing, I made it last minute for a thanksgiving dinner and when I couldn’t find any Harrisa at my local grocer I just whipped together some Chili paste, roasted garlic (which I through in the oven beside the veggies), agave, lemon juice and pepper. Worked great!! I didn’t use measurements, just added then tasted and adjured.

  3. Hi, am trying this for my table at thanksgiving. I didnt purchase a real lemon. Can I use the lemon juice in the lemon sqeeze bottle? If so how much? I couldn’t find the Harissa. No one at the store knew where to find it. But I am making it tonight and I am not going near a store. I’m going to make double the ingredients. And will chill in fridge tonight.

    • Oh jeez, sorry I didn’t get to your comment in time! For future reference, though, I believe you can replace the fresh lemon juice with 2 tbsp of the squeeze bottle. You can usually find harissa in the ethnic aisle of your grocery store, but you may need to try a health food store (such as Whole Foods or Planet Organic, depending on where you are). I hope this helps!

  4. Question: Do you roast the chickpeas with the cauliflower and onions? It doesn’t say to, but the pictures looks as if they may be roasted together. I think this recipe looks amazing and I am excited to serve it during thanksgiving!
    Also, can I use olive oil as a substitute for grape seed oil?

  5. Can I make this a day ahead?? Would the cauliflower be ok or get mushy? Can I serve this chilled or at room temp?

    • Hey! I haven’t tried it but I can’t imagine the cauliflower becoming too mushy. I’m sure it would taste delicious at room temp or chilled. I hope that helps!

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