Mediterranean cauliflower and greens is a flavorful, healthy salad featuring sauteed, spiced cauliflower, cucumbers, tomatoes, feta cheese, and a simple dressing of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Many people know cauliflower as a low-carb vegetable with a bland taste. From an Ayurvedic perspective, we say that cauliflower is light, alkalizing, and dry.
Due to its qualities, cauliflower can be difficult for some people to digest. It can lead to gas and bloating. The addition of spices in this recipe provides the digestive support needed to overcome this tendency, and adds plenty of flavor to the salad.
Coriander powder has a warm, spicy, and nutty flavor. It is mostly sweet, but also pungent and bitter. It is a digestive aid, and slightly diuretic.
Coriander has a unique ability to bind to toxins and direct them for elimination through the urine. Thus, you can think of coriander as very supportive for detoxing and cleansing the blood.
Cinnamon is warming and supports circulation. It is anti-inflammatory, and also a digestive. Cinnamon helps to regulate blood sugar and supports fat metabolism, and that’s why it's the perfect addition to rich, sugary desserts.
Black pepper is nice and pungent. It's sharp warmth supports circulation, helps to cut through mucus and congestion, and expels gas.
You could say that many of the qualities of black pepper are similar to garlic. In most cases I prefer black pepper because it has a light quality whereas garlic is a little heavier.
How to make
Since the cauliflower is the star of the salad, you want to pay special attention to its preparation.
Use a large knife to chop the cauliflower into equally-sized pieces. Notice how your knife creates a flat edge on each piece. This flat edge is what will make contact with the surface of the skillet and brown up nicely.
Cooking the cauliflower starts with the sizzling of spices in a bit of olive oil. Then you add the cauliflower in a flat layer along with a bit of water, and cover it.
Technically this is a braising technique for the vegetable. This is my favorite way to cook vegetables. You can cook any vegetable this way with a bit of cooking fat, spices, and water.
Once you have your cauliflower cooked, this salad comes together quickly.
You have salad greens, tomato, cucumber and feta cheese.
The dressing is a simple drizzle of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.
Good and healthy
A friend of mine made this recipe recently, and here's what she said:
"I made a beautiful Mediterranean salad with roasted cauliflower. OMG, I love the cauliflower soooo much, I’ve made it a couple times and the flavors are outstanding!"-Heather Schade
Turn this into a meal
- Enjoy Mediterranean cauliflower salad as a light meal with warm pita bread.
- To turn this into a complete and satisfying vegetarian meal, serve with brown rice or wild rice pilaf, and top with nuts.
- This would also be wonderful with lightly grilled chicken or beef.
You’ll love this! Let us know in the comments what you think.
Recipe for Mediterranean Cauliflower & Greens Salad
Helpful Kitchen Tools:
for the cauliflower
- 3 cups cauliflower, sliced into ½-inch thick pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder, (sub with ½ teaspoon turmeric)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
for the salad
- 4 cups mixed salad greens, loosely packed
- ½ cup cucumber, chopped
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- ¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
- drizzle extra virgin olive oil, to taste
- drizzle balsamic vinegar, to taste
- sprinkle salt and black pepper
- fresh herbs (such as parsley, cilantro, basil or mint)
Prepare to cook the cauliflower
- Wash cauliflower, and use a knife to slice into ½-inch slabs (flat pieces).
- Measure out the required coriander, cinnamon and black pepper for the cauliflower in a small dish. Keep cauliflower and spice mix ready by the stove.
Cook the cauliflower
- Heat a large non-stick skillet on medium heat, and add olive oil. Add powdered spices and stir for no more than 30 seconds to release the flavor and aroma into the fat.
- Add prepared cauliflower and salt. Toss (or stir) to evenly coat cauliflower with spices, then arrange the cauliflower in an even layer on the skillet. Add 1 tablespoon water, cover, and leave it to cook for 5-10 minutes, until the cauliflower starts to soften, and the first side starts to brown underneath.
- Turn each piece of cauliflower individually using a fork or a spatula (or both). Cook until the the second side is nicely browned. If the skillet dries out and the cauliflower starts to get too dark, add a little more water. Cover if needed to soften the cauliflower further. Once the cauliflower is cooked, allow any remaining water to evaporate, and continue cooking just until you have a lightly browned layer. Turn off the heat when the cauliflower is fully cooked. Watch closely throughout the process.
Prepare the salad ingredients
- Meanwhile, place washed salad greens in a serving bowl. Chop cucumbers and tomatoes and arrange over the top. Crumble on the feta cheese, then drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste, and sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper.
Finish the salad
- Top with the spiced cauliflower and optional fresh herbs. Enjoy!