I have 2 things for you today!
First up, a Sumo citrus salad loaded with roasted cauliflower, kalamata olives, scallions, raisins, cashews and feta. It's dressed with a bright, orange-citrus vinaigrette. Second, a roundup of more than 20 roasted vegetable dishes for easy dinners that I posted on Parade's online magazine, Parade.com. It's Week 3 of my Vegetarian Meal Plan series.
Citrus Salad Time
Wintertime means citrus is at its peak, and the stores are full of citrus you only see a couple of months of the year. I love them all, but Sumo Citrus, a seedless mandarin, is one I buy by the bag. The skin practically peels itself, coming off in 2 or 3 large pieces, so it checks the ‘Easy box', and it bursts in your mouth with citrus sweetness unlike other. Finding them at the market means some kind of citrus salad will show up at our table a few times a week. Sometimes I add raw, shaved Brussels sprouts and make a citrus salad into a meal. Or I use various kinds of citrus slices with roasted beets for a side salad. A few years ago I served pesto cauliflower steaks on top of a citrus salad every time we had company for dinner. And this year, my go-to citrus salad is this one with roasted cauliflower. I got my original inspiration for this citrus salad from an orzo citrus salad on the Cookie + Kate blog. I included it in my first Vegetarian Meal Plan posted a couple of weeks ago. It was the most popular menu item based on clicks – so if you missed it, go check it out now!
Citrus Salad with Cauliflower Evolution
I swapped out the orzo pasta for cauliflower to make it low-carb, and L O V E D it. But because I can't stop tinkering, I made it a WHOLE bunch more times, each time making a couple changes. Some changes worked (swapping almonds for cashews), some were a fail (adding roasted Savoy cabbage). I ended up with a light version that's perfect for a side dish or lunch, and a bulkier version more suitable for an entree. The only difference between the two versions is that I added thinly shaved raw cabbage for the entree version.
I love adding roasted vegetables to salads. It adds a little more nutrition, makes the salad more filling, and adds another texture. In fact I almost always have some kind of roasted vegetable on hand to add to all kinds of dishes. Roasted tomatoes, beets, cauliflower, butternut squash, and Brussels sprouts are some of my favorites.
Tips for Making the Sumo Citrus Salad
- Any citrus will work in this salad if you can't find any Sumo Citrus.
- Purchase feta cheese in large chunks or a single slab, and crumble between your fingers. Pre-crumbled feta can be too dry, and it only takes a few seconds to crumble it yourself for a much better flavor.
- I used 2 navel oranges for the Vinaigrette, but feel free to use another kind of citrus.
- Red cabbage or radicchio can be substituted for the green cabbage.
Citrus Salad with Cauliflower, Kalamata Olives and Feta
Sumo Citrus Salad
- 1/2 medium cauliflower, florets separated and sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper powder
- 2 Suma citrus, peeled and separated into segments
- 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions, white and green parts
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped Italian parsley
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 cup cashews, coarsely chopped
- 1/3 small head of green cabbage, thinly sliced (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F (see cooking notes), and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
- Toss the cauliflower in the olive oil, and arrange on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with the salt and chipotle pepper powder. Roast for 15 minutes, or until tender.
- Combine the remaining Citrus Salad ingredients in a large bowl, including the cabbage if using, and whisk together all of the ingredients for the Citrus Vinaigrette.
- Add the roasted cauliflower to the bowl, drizzle one-half of the Vinaigrette over the top of the salad, and toss. Add the remaining Vinaigrette to taste, and toss again.
- Serve at room temperature.
If you want to move to a more vegetarian diet, but not sure the best steps to take, join the Monthly Vegetarian Meals Challenge. Each month I'll post some tips – great plant protein sources, must-haves for the vegetarian pantry, ways to build flavor, and more. Additionally, we tackle 1 – 3 seasonal recipes tied to the theme that month. Subscribe to Monthly Vegetarian Meals Challenge.