Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Salad with Orange Olive Oil Dressing – Recipe

Roasted cauliflower salad with white beans
Roasted cauliflower salad with white beans

Roasted cauliflower is a staple side-dish in my house. We all love that caramelized flavor. And because cauliflower keeps quite well in the refrigerator, it works well with our lifestyle. We don’t always know how many times in a given week we’re going to get to prepare a full meal.

Simply roasting the cauliflower with olive oil and salt is terrific. But there is no limit to the ways you can dress it up with minimal additional effort. The active preparation time is no more than 10 or 15 minutes. Today’s version with white beans turns it into a rather hearty salad.

You could also use romanesco

I based the flavors around Etruria’s orange-infused olive oil (from ChefShop) with which I’ve been completely obsessed for the past few weeks. If you don’t have that, a couple of other options would be to use finely grated orange zest with an unflavored but delicious extra-virgin olive oil, or you could use some of Trader Joe’s tasty Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar.

I like to cut a head of cauliflower into quarters, remove some of the core, and then break it up by hand from there. Once you get the hang of it, this technique produces more attractive, intact, round florets instead of the flat surfaces from a knife, and is just as fast. Try it and see if you don’t agree.

Bad picture, good food

The first version I did of this dish was served hot, omitted the beans, and added homemade breadcrumbs  lots of chili flakes, and fresh mint. It also tasted great but I took a lousy picture of it! I hate it when that happens.

Other possible elaborations: green olives, raisins and capers (for a Sicilian spin), diced tomatoes, feta cheese, roasted garlic cloves.

Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Salad with Orange Olive Oil Dressing
Serves 4
Vegetarian, vegan & gluten free

  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets (see above)
  • 2 tablespoons (plain) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small can white beans, thoroughly drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup finely diced red onion, sweet white onion, or shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons orange-infused olive oil (or see above for alternatives)
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (or a nice red wine vinegar, or lemon juice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • sea salt
  • flat-leaf parsley (minced or not, your choice)
  1. Preheat oven to 450 F. Toss the cauliflower with the unflavored olive oil and a generous pinch or two of salt. If you like, you can microwave for 5 minutes first to reduce the oven time. Roast until there are many deep brown patches, about 20 minutes or so.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the rinsed beans, onion, garlic, orange-infused olive oil, sherry vinegary, rosemary, black pepper and 1 teaspoon of salt. Taste and adjust seasoning. Remember that you want a strong flavor because you will be combining this mixture with the cauliflower.
  3. When the cauliflower is done, toss the beans and dressing with it while it is still warm. Allow to cool to room temperature, garnish with parsley, and serve.
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Posted by Michael Natkin on Monday, February 1st, 2010 in Gluten-Free or modifiable, Recipes, Salads, Vegan or Modifiable.

21 Responses to “Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Salad with Orange Olive Oil Dressing – Recipe”

  1. Reply
    February 1, 2010 at 10:23 am #

    Thanks for all the great ideas for one of my fav veggies!

  2. Reply
    February 1, 2010 at 2:45 pm #

    I’m eating tons of cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage these days! I used some romanesco broccoli today to make vegetable+rice balls and baked some cauliflower with a cramy saffron sauce. I think the cabbage family is great but I’m really looking forward to some nice spring veggies.

  3. Reply
    February 1, 2010 at 3:15 pm #

    This sounds amazing with the orange dressing and white beans. I’m on a cauliflower kick right now and can’t get enough of it. I just made a warm salad with cauliflower, potatoes, and capers. Have to try this one next.

  4. Reply
    February 1, 2010 at 4:57 pm #

    this looks beautiful and sounds delicious. I can see myself making this for clients. Thanks, Michael!

  5. Reply
    February 1, 2010 at 7:06 pm #

    Yummy! I came back from the market with cauliflower this morning and tried this tonight. We really enjoyed – thanks for sharing.

  6. Reply
    February 1, 2010 at 11:12 pm #

    Looks great! My favorite thing to roast is broccoli, which I make often and dress up many different ways. This might be a smart way to change things up a bit – thanks!

  7. Reply
    February 2, 2010 at 7:35 am #

    We’re committed to eating more meatless dinners and this hits all the right buttons.

  8. Reply
    February 2, 2010 at 8:47 am #

    Looks so good! I’m on a cauliflower kick lately. Will definitely be trying this.


  9. Reply
    February 4, 2010 at 1:24 am #

    I have never roasted cauliflower, i must try! Does the kitchen smell a lot after?

  10. Reply
    Michael Natkin
    February 4, 2010 at 7:17 am #

    @Alessandra – no… I mean, it is a detectable odor, the same way I can tell when I walk in the door if someone has just cut a cucumber or made tomato sauce. But not in an offensive, someone has been boiling cabbage for four hours kind of way.

  11. Reply
    February 4, 2010 at 6:02 pm #

    I have been so uninspired lately but this should help perk things up. Cauliflower is a wonderful vegetable and it will make a nice change from my current rut of kale, kale, kale. Thanks!

  12. Reply
    February 7, 2010 at 10:31 am #

    Holy cow – I made this, I loved this. Incredible!

  13. Reply
    Michael Natkin
    February 7, 2010 at 2:26 pm #

    Glad you liked it Shelley! Thanks for letting me know.

  14. Reply
    February 10, 2010 at 12:31 pm #

    Sounds like a great recipe! It’s a wonderful idea to combine cauliflower and beans.

  15. Reply
    June 17, 2010 at 1:14 am #

    That was an enjoyable read!

    I agree, it’s nice to add some protein like white beans. It makes the salad both healthier and more filling.

    Olive oil is a personal favorite +_+

  16. Reply
    June 24, 2010 at 8:42 am #

    I just made this for a good friend who was to tired to cook what with having just given birth and all 🙂

    I shared the recipe on my blog – thanks so much for posting it on yours! It was a MASSIVE hit! 🙂

  17. Reply
    February 8, 2011 at 10:02 am #

    Who doesn’t love roasted cauliflower?! And your twist with beans and Orange Olive Oil sounds delicious. This recipe is definitely going on my must-try list!

    It makes such a difference to use an olive oil that is flavored by “co-pressing” (like the one you recommended) versus “infusing”. Pressing just-harvested olives with fresh fruit creates an amazing bright, natural flavor. An infused olive oil is flavored after-the-fact (e.g., with extracts) which shortens shelf life. To me, infused olive oils just don’t taste nearly as pure. Sounds as if you may agree?

    I own a small business, The Olive Orchard, and we are passionate about sharing the remarkable flavor of single-origin extra virgin olive oils. All of our flavored olive oils are naturally co-pressed with fresh fruits & herbs (crafted by the Laleli estate on the Turkish Mediterranean). Customers have been crazy about our cute, little Flavored Sampler Set…great way to have fun in the kitchen and experiment with all six flavored olive oils.

    Thanks for your post! My apologies for being a little long-winded. Just excited to find your blog! Now I will subscribe and follow for easier access to your foodie fun :).

  18. Reply
    Kathleen Love
    April 6, 2011 at 2:53 pm #

    I was long overdue to use a head of cauliflower and needed some inspiration. Your blog posted up, I made this and both my baby and I just gobbled it up for an afternoon snack. He’s now shiny head to toe with olive oil and we both couldn’t be happier. Absolutely delicious.

  19. Reply
    Michael Natkin
    April 6, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    Sounds like you've got a good little eater there! I'm glad you liked it, and thanks for sharing 🙂

  20. Reply
    August 6, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

    Roasting cauliflower changes its personality completely. Gives it more depth and flavor. I often roast it. Your dish looks very delicious. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Reply
    Tempa Heller
    August 11, 2014 at 6:48 am #

    I’ve made this a couple of times now, each time it gets better. Wonderful dish. Last time I added diced tomatoes, some roasted red bell pepper, black olives and crumbled feta, right at the end, to the standard recipe. Delicious, everyone loved it. Thanks for sharing!

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