Easy, Warm Vegan Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Orzo and Roasted Red Peppers in a basil pesto tahini sauce. This salad recipe makes me fall in love with cauliflower all over again. Version 2
Cauliflower is my favorite vegetable to eat!
But, I also realize that I use it mostly in Indian cooking
Its one of those veggies that can work in all kinds of cuisines, so, I put it in this orzo salad recipe….
… and I can’t believe how delicious it turned out!
Tips for making these roasted cauliflower salad
– If you have the time, make the basil pesto at home. Use my basil pesto recipe (you can skip the scallions just for this time 🙂 ).
– If you don’t have time, the store bought (affiliate link) vegan basil pesto in a bottle will work so well in this recipe. I recommend staying away from the tube version
– The tahini can also be homemade or get the store bought recipe. If you use the store bought recipe, adjust the water depending on the thickness of the tahini
– Cut the cauliflower florets as small as possible. They will roast faster and its easier to eat with a spoon. I recommend using a (affiliate link) cauliflower cutting knife for a very easy experience.
– You can make the roasted cauliflower salad ahead of time, and add the basil pesto tahini when ready to serve
– This recipe includes a big batch of basil pesto tahini. You won’t use all of it, so, the rest can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks and used in any pasta recipe
– I only used a half of red bell pepper, but, it would be ok to use the whole red pepper. Roast the whole bell pepper, cut it open, de-seed it and then dice. Any leftover veggies can be put into a homemade pickles recipe.
Why I love this Roasted Cauliflower Salad
I have never tried putting pesto and cauliflower together before. So, when I was experimenting with this roasted cauliflower salad recipe, I fell in love with the combination. I think that explains why I had a string of new and old pesto recipes on my blog.
The part I love about being a food blogger is that I get to experiment with all kinds of ingredients that, instinctively, may not go well together. However, after experimenting with them, they turn into a delicious fusion recipe.
So, trust me, basil pesto and tahini make for a very creamy good fusion recipe. This sauce was perfect way to coat the roasted cauliflower and orzo.
It also made me appreciate cauliflower in a whole new way. I think this is a great way to change up the same old cauliflower. You can also make a cheesy roasted cauliflower which makes kids eat this veggie.
Related: Have you tried my Paneer Pizza recipe.
More ingredients to add to this salad
– Roasted or steamed broccoli
– Capers (as garnish)
– Red onions (diced)
– Butternut Squash
– Arugula, spinach, kale or any other greens (cooked)
Easy cauliflower recipes
After you have tried this roasted cauliflower salad, I recommend you try some of my other favorites. Which one is your favorite?
- One Skillet cauliflower and vegan sausage
- Cauliflower Rice Biryani
- Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup
- Sweet and Sour Vegetables
- Cauliflower curry (fair warning, this was one of my very early recipes. The images are really bad, but, the recipe is delicious 🙂 )
Orzo is a fan favorite ingredient
Roasted Cauliflower Salad With Orzo in a Basil Pesto Tahini Sauce
For the Basil Pesto Tahini (See Notes)
- 1 cup basil pesto
- ¼ cup tahini
- 2½ Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- 1 tsp orange zest optional
- ½ cup water
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil optional, use only if the basil pesto is dry
For the Roasted Cauliflower Salad
- ½ cauliflower Choose a small cauliflower
- 1 cup orzo uncooked
- ½ red bell pepper
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp oregano
- parsley for garnish
- Preheat oven to 450°
- In a bowl, cut the cauliflower into small florets
- Add the oil and oregano to the bowl, mix well
- Spread the cauliflower florets on a baking tray
- Wrap the bell pepper in aluminum foil and place it on the same baking tray
- Place baking tray in oven
- Roast cauliflower and bell pepper for 20-25 minutes until the cauliflower has browned
- Remove from the oven and let them cool
- While the veggies are roasting, cook the orzo pasta
- In a blender, add all the ingredients for the basil pesto tahini
- Blend on low until all the ingredients are blended
- Set aside a half cup of the basil pesto tahini and refrigerate the remaining sauce
- Open the roasted bell pepper foil and remove the skin from the pepper
- Dice the bell pepper finely
- In a pan, add the cooked orzo, roasted cauliflower, bell pepper and the basil pesto tahini sauce
- Set the heat to medium and gentle mix all the ingredients
- Cook for no more than 4 minutes
- Turn off heat and serve immediately
Version 1 of this recipe
Occasionally, I will go back into older recipes and update them for SEO purposes and just to refresh them, especially the images.
Today’s roasted cauliflower salad recipe got a complete overhaul of the old recipe. I added a few more ingredients to the recipe and removed the turmeric. The updated version is more wholesome and hearty.
This recipe was originally published on August 31st, 2015 at 12:03am. You can see the full old recipe by clicking here to go to the Wayback Machine.
This recipe is so versatile. It works as a quick lunch recipe, main course meal or a side dish. How do you plan to use this roasted cauliflower salad?
P/S: if you try the new roasted cauliflower salad recipe, be sure to rate it below in the comments. I always love hearing about your experiences with my recipes.