A Salad in Winter: Roasted Cauliflower and Spinach Salad

DSC01374Winter is not well-known for its fresh greens, and is famous for being a time people eat even fewer veggies than usual! Even I admit, though I still have a green salad several times a week, that the deep freeze outside can take the thrill out of a cold vegetable side dish. Gee, if only there were a way to get the huge veggie content of a salad with a warm touch…but there is! I have adapted this recipe from several others, this being the closest, http://www.food.com/recipe/spinach-and-roasted-cauliflower-salad-221426, but I’ve made it a bit healthier, treated it as a main dish (4 servings per recipe) and warmed it up. I have taken this to several social events and have made it often at home and it always get rave reviews! Another nice thing about this, or any, salad, is that the proportions are very flexible. Because of that, the nutritional information is dependent on things like how much dressing you use and how big the cauliflower is at your grocery store these days. (The recipe may look a bit long, but there’s really not too much to it, I just organized it as I make it.)

Roasted Cauliflower and Spinach SaladCauliflower_roasted
Cauliflower
1 medium to large head(s) cauliflower, florets (~6 C)
1T olive oil
3/4 t salt
1/4 t ground black pepper

Dressing
2T white wine vinegar
1T Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil

Salad
1 bag (6 oz) baby spinach leaves, rinsed
1/4 large red onion, sliced thin
4 oz shaved Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a shallow pan or cookie sheet with cooking spray and combine cauliflower, 1T olive oil, salt and pepper. After stirring, roast for 30 minutes, stirring once. Keep cauliflower hot until ready to use by turning off the oven and leaving the cauliflower in.

2. In a small bowl, combine vinegar and mustard. Whisk in remaining oil, or use a lidded bowl and shake to mix.

3. In a large bowl, combine greens and onion. Add the warm cauliflower and the amount of dressing you choose.

4. Top with Parmesan cheese.

DSC01379
Nutrition and Notes

  • For 1/4 or this recipe: 295 calories, 14 carbs, 23 g fat, (6 g sat fat,) 13 g pro, 372 mg sodium (Nutritional values as calculated by myfitnesspal.com)
  • The cauliflower will warm and soften the spinach, giving you a nice warmed salad. You can help this process by bringing the spinach out of the fridge while the cauliflower cooks.
  • You can use arugula in place of the spinach or mix the two. (Of course, in the summer, fresh spinach from your farmers market would be ideal, but this way you don’t have to worry about grit in your greens!)
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese would of course be OK here, I just thing the shaved looks a bit more elegant, and the larger pieces give you a more substantial bite, making it seem more decadent.
  • If you want a cold salad, that’s OK too. Just let the cauliflower cool before you add it.
  • I like to add the dressing when I make the salad; its easier to mix it all together in a large bowl instead of trying to coat each leaf in your salad bowl or on your plate. But, you could always serve it on the side. (The Dijon dressing can be used for other things, and because its so flavorful, you might not need it all for this recipe.)
  • Adjust the amount of spinach, onion and cauliflower to suit you. You could make it with a fraction of greens, and more cauliflower if you don’t want as much “salad.”
  • Leftovers are great! They can be eaten warm or cold, with the dressing already added or kept on the side.
  • This could be used as an entree salad, and you could bump up the calories, protein and healthy fats with some slivered almonds or pine nuts. Also, steak would be great with dish, given the acidity and mustard in the dressing…you could even turn it into a steak salad!

Enjoy those veggies and stay warm!

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One thought on “A Salad in Winter: Roasted Cauliflower and Spinach Salad

  1. Pingback: Spinach and Fig Salad | Gracie's Ravioli

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