Roasted Cauliflower and Pomegranate Salad with a Lemon Anchovy Dressing

This recipe for a simple seasonal salad is a complete revelation to me. I haven’t bought cauliflower for years. Mainly because I cannot abide the smell of the kitchen after it has been boiling. I am very particular about food smells . I also cannot cook quinces because I find their scent revolting and I struggle with fresh lilies for the same reason. To me they are in the nasty whiff category.

But, I made  a pleasing  discovery today. And that is the roasting of a cauliflower. It sits in the oven for 20 minutes and comes out smelling nutty. I am  very happy about this. Cauliflower is back on the shopping list forever!

There is another delicious way of eating it which I  had recently as a nibble with drinks at Pizarro. The cauliflower was served in tiny raw nuggets alongside  little radishes simply dressed with good olive oil and rock salt. Such a simple idea, but one that tastes impeccable. With the added bonus that it is healthy. Unfortunately, the many glasses of Sherry aren’t.

So here is a salad you really should try. It is a winning idea but you could also simply serve the roasted cauliflower and red onions scattered with the pomegranate seeds if you don’t fancy the idea of a salad in winter. It would make a good accompaniment to some grilled or roasted meat or fish.

I am entering this dish into Ren’s “Simple and in Season” challenge over at Fabulicious Food. It is also my entry into One Ingredient co-hosted by me and Nazima at Franglais Kitchen. Our  ingredient this month is Pomegranate.

Roasted Cauliflower and Pomegranate Salad with a Lemon Anchovy Dressing


Serves 2 as a main course or 4 as a side dish

  • 1 whole cauliflower token up into small florets

  • 2 red onions sliced thickly

  • olive oil

  • salt & pepper

  • 1tsp cumin seeds

  • Feta cheese

  • Pomegranate seeds

For the dressing :-

  • 2 anchovies sliced finely (if you don’t like them swap for capers)

  • Zest of half a lemon

  • Juice of half a lemon

  • 4 or 5tbsp olive oil

  • salt & pepper

Method :-

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees.

  2. Chop the cauliflower into florets and place in a big bowl .with the sliced red onions, cumin seeds and a generous splash of olive oil and seasoning. Mix thoroughly and place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment.

  3. Roast for 20/25 minutes.

  4. Let it cool while you  make the dressing.

For the dressing :-

  • Mash the anchovies with the lemon zest in a pestle and mortar then add in some seasoning,the lemon juice and olive oil. Stir to combine.

To assemble the salad :-

  1. Put the roasted cauliflower and red onion  in a shallow salad bowl.

  2. Add a generous amount of pomegranate seeds and Feta cheese.

  3. Pour over the dressing and serve at room temperature.



  1. says

    Amazing! I love roasted cauliflower, Laura. And I love rediscovering ingredients in a new light. I will definitely be making this soon. I do really like cauliflower, but, like you, are sensitive to the smell of certain foods.

  2. says

    Brilliant, definately going to try this, I´ve been wondering what to do with the pomegranates in the garden and this´ll make a great change having never roasted cauliflower before.

  3. says

    Goregous looking salad, love the  bright red flecks of the pomegranate against the creamy caluiflower. I’m with you on the smell of lillies! 

  4. Ren Behan says

    Lovely recipe and do you know, I’ve never had roasted cauliflower either. WIll try. Have some pomegranate seeds in the frige to use up on my next recipe! x

  5. Jude says

    I love cauliflower and it grows locally in Brittany so we have loads.  This recipe is gorgeous, I’ll be making it next time I buy cauliflower.

  6. says

    I adore roast cauliflower, I discovered it 3 yrs ago when I was in a low carb diet and I used to roast cauliflowers as a pizza base – mash them up and make a crust – sublime that way! Your salad looks fabulous and so seasonal too! Karen 

  7. says

    I am a big fan of roasted cauliflower, sometimes with turmeric, sometimes with za’atar, sometimes with a tahini sauce. But I have never had it with pomegranates AND anchovies. That’s quite inventive! I love the mix of different tastes. Btw, I have a cauliflower and almond pizza base recipe on my blog somewhere, if you are interested. It works really well, although no one would mistake it for dough. 

  8. says

    I tried this tonight with fried halloumi. Despite slightly overcooking the onions (I didn’t get out of the shower quick enough!), it was really delicious and I’ll definitely be making it again. It was nice as a meal on its own and would also work well as an accompaniment. I had it warm (as I couldn’t wait for it to cool!) and I’d recommend to others. Thank you for sharing x

  9. Fishfingers for tea says

    This looks gorgeous! I’ve never roasted cauliflower but have been noticing it popping up more and more, along with roasting broccoli. I really must give it a go. 

  10. says

    I rediscovered cauliflower through Ottolenghi – he has a recipe for fritters which is so delicious I started making them regularly, then branched out into lots of other salads and roasted variations. This looks delicious and can imagine the lemon anchovy dressing is exactly the kick of flavour a cauliflower needs.

    • says

      Thanks so much. I imagine cauliflower in fritters to be delicious and anything that Ottlenghi does I approve of. I hope it comes back into fashion as there is more to life than cauliflower cheese, yummy though it is!

  11. says

    What a stunning winter salad Laura! It looks fantastic and the flavours sound amazing. I know what you mean about the smell of boiled cauliflower but I still cook it because I love it… but the roasting way – well, what a revelation, I can’t wait to try it! Gorgeous!

  12. says

    This is so interesting: I do not buy cauliflower because they have a mild taste which needs to be boosted with a lot of oil or beciamella sauce. I’ve never tried to roast them, I have to give to this vegetable another opportunity. THANKS (ps I love anchovy based sauces,)

  13. says

    I bought a cauliflower after reading about this post on Twitter and shall be roasting it tonight. I’m not making the salad as I want this to accompany something else, but I’m looking forward to seeing what it’s like cooked that way. But I do like cauliflower, in pretty much any format but especially cauliflower cheese. Laura, you are the first person I’ve heard say they don’t like the smell of quinces – so interesting what we all like and dislike.

  14. says

    I’ve never thought of roasting cauliflower either, but will definitely be trying it soon! I have to admit I’m a bit too partial to cauli cheese and I love cauliflower in a curry but rarely go beyond these. Inspired now though, thanks!

  15. Sarah says

    Hi, I hate boiled cauliflower smell too – the lady at our local organic co-op swore that cauliflowers grown organically don’t smell – and she’s right! here in Spain at least.


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