Is there a thing such as a warm salad? If there is, this mediterranean roasted cauliflower would qualify. It’s a simple vegetable-forward dish that has the quintessential Mediterranean ingredients: olives, grapes, lemon and fresh herbs like parsley.
This roasted cauliflower method is much quicker than using the oven but still results in those beautiful char marks. Cauliflower is pre-cooked by boiling and then roasted in a pan on the stove till browned. A cast iron pan works best for this recipe, but you can use any other pan as well. You may need to adjust the amount of oil you use with another pan, as cast iron pans are naturally non-stick. After your cauliflower reaches that perfectly browned state, it’s just as simple as assembling your dish. Sliced grapes add a little sweet-tartness; olives add that zing and healthy fats to your dish. I used parsley but you can use any fresh herbs you have on hand – mint would be a great substitute.
I love serving this mediterranean roasted cauliflower as a side to a traditional Middle Eastern meal of hummus, falafel and this standout za’atar and cheese flatbread. It would also go great as a side to shakshuka.
If you’re vegan and gluten-free or have friends who are, this dish makes a great option that’s inclusive of those dietary restrictions. If you try this, I’d love to hear what you think. Leave a comment below or get in touch on Instagram @theindiaedition. Though you might not have thought of putting these simple ingredients before, they come together to create a melange of flavors and textures!
- 350g or 12oz cauliflower florets, cut into slices vertically / with flat sides (see photos)
- A handful of parsley, chopped
- 12-15 grapes, halved
- 8-10 olives
- 2 tbsp olive oil, for cooking
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, for dressing
- 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Parboil the cauliflower - bring a pot of water to boil and add the florets in gently, boil for 4-5 minutes. Drain carefully.
- In a large pan (preferably cast iron) on medium heat, add 1-2 tbsp olive oil as needed. Arrange the cauliflower across the pan so that each piece is in contact with the pan. Sprinkle salt and pepper.
- Cook until browned on the bottom side (about 5 minutes), then flip each floret to brown the other side.
- Once the cauliflower is browned and fully cooked, remove from heat. Serve in the pan or transfer to another plate.
- Top with the chopped parsley, halved grapes and olives. Drizzle lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil on top.