This Moroccan-style cauliflower salad is made with warm spices, sweet raisins, citrus dressing and a hint of orange zest. It’s paleo, gluten-free, and a perfect side dish.
This week, I had half a head of cauliflower leftover from making some cauli rice and I wanted to make something new with it. I love roasting cauliflower but as we don’t have an oven in the van, I thought that perhaps I can pan-fry it until crispy and golden brown and then throw in a few bits and pieces to make a salad.
I decided to go with a Moroccan theme here and thought that the earthiness of warm spices like cumin and cinnamon would go well with nutty cauliflower. I then wanted to give it some sweetness – that’s where raisins come in – and balance it out with a little citrus zing. I had an orange, so I added a little zest and juice, and this salad took on a slightly autumnal, and almost Christmasy, feel.
You have a choice of pan-frying or roasting the cauliflower. The recipe below provides instructions for cooking it in a frying pan, but if you use the oven, heat it to 200 C / 400 F and mix the cauliflower pieces with the spices and olive oil before spreading it on a flat baking sheet and cooking it for about 20-25 minutes.
Raisins could be replaced with diced dried apricot or sultanas.
I’ve added some shaved almond flakes but these are optional if you want to make a nut-free version.
The recipe below is for this salad as a side dish between 2-4 people but you can also make a larger batch of this. This goes well most proteins but especially with chicken or lamb.
Try it as a side dish to crispy skin baked chicken with herby sauce or my slow-cooked Moroccan lamb stew. And, if you love cauliflower and want more recipes with it, check out my shrimp and cauliflower fried ‘rice’, these low-carb cauliflower hash browns, or this popular crack cauliflower with spicy sauce.
- Coconut oil or olive oil for cooking
- ½ head of cauliflower, cut into small florets (cut the bigger florets in half)
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon coriander seed powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Pinch of pepper
- 1 tablespoon almond flakes (optional)
- ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 small clove of garlic, crushed or finely diced
- 2 tablespoons raisins or sultanas
- ½ teaspoon of orange zest
- 2 tablespoons of orange juice
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey (can be halved)
- Pinch of salt
- Heat coconut oil or olive oil (about 2 tablespoons) in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower florets to the pan (I put them flat side down first) and cook for about 5 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. Use tongs or a fork to turn each piece over and cook for 3-4 more minutes.
- Evenly, sprinkle the spices and salt over the cauliflower pieces and add the almonds. Stir through over heat for a minute, allowing the spices to release their aromas. Turn the heat off and set aside.
- While the cauliflower is cooking, make the salad dressing. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and set aside to infuse.
- Transfer the warm cauliflower to the salad bowl and mix through, making sure everything is well coated. Serve with some fresh herbs on top or as is.