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Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Cashew Cream

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Garlic roasted cauliflower salad with fresh spinach, pickled carrots, cilantro and creamy cashew dressing.

This is a nutrition-packed salad that can be made ahead of time for a healthy lunch or dinner. There’s a range of colors in textures that tantalise the palate and create a balanced vegan salad with healthy fats, protein and vitamins.

roasted cauliflower, spinach and carrots in a brown bowl topped with dressing and lemon

Here’s what you’ll find in this salad.

  • Creamy Cashew Dressing
  • Roasted Cauliflower
  • Pickled Carrots
  • Baby Spinach
  • Cilantro
  • Fried Shallots

The Cashew Cream Salad Dressing

The salad dressing is a creamy cashew-based one. It’s savory and velvety smooth and coats the salad perfectly. The dressing is very quick to whip together especially if you have a high-powered blender.

If your blender isn’t that great, the cashews will need to be soaked or simmered first to soften them up. This will make the smoothest dressing.

The dressing consists of raw cashews, lemon juice, dijon mustard, garlic, salt and a little optional sweetener such as maple syrup or honey.

The Roasted Cauliflower

The cauliflower is the main star of the salad, and the flavor is ramped up by first roasting it. This caramelises the cauliflower and enhances the texture. The inside of the cauliflower is soft but the outer edges are sweet and crispy.

It’s chopped into florets, tossed in a little oil, garlic, paprika and salt and roasted to perfection.

a tray of roasted cauliflower

Pickled Carrots

Quick pickled carrots bring acidity to the salad.

It’s simply shredded raw carrots tossed in a brine of vinegar, hot water and a little sugar. They’re left to soak until the brine has cooled down. It lightly pickles them and helps to lift the other flavors in the roasted cauliflower salad.

a white bowl of shredded carrots

The Other Cauliflower Salad Ingredients

The rest of the salad is made up of fresh baby spinach, chopped cilantro and topped with fried shallots (for extra crunch and amazing flavor).

Looking for more cauliflower or salad recipes? Try these satay cauliflower noodle bowls or a fresh Vietnamese noodle salad.

roasted cauliflower, spinach and carrots in a brown bowl

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Cashew Cream

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Garlic roasted cauliflower salad with fresh spinach, pickled carrots, cilantro and creamy cashew dressing.


Cashew Dressing

  • 1 cup (150g) raw cashews
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt


  • 1 medium head of cauliflower
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 tsp garlic powder)
  • Salt and pepper

Pickled Carrots

  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1/4 cup boiled water
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar (or other sweetner)

Other Ingredients

  • 200g baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup fried shallots


  1. If using a high powered blender - Combine the cashew dressing ingredients together and blend until smooth. If you don't have a great blender - Soak the cashews overnight to soften them, or place them in a saucepan of water, bring to a boil and simmer them for 10 minutes. Drain and leave them to cool, then continue with dressing method above. Once the dressing has been blended, keep it refrigerated until needed.
  2. Heat oven to 425°F/220°C.
  3. Chop the cauliflower into small-medium florets and arrange them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle them with paprika powder, the garlic, oil, salt and pepper and toss to coat.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cauliflower has caramalised around the edges.
  5. Grate or shred the carrots and add them to a bowl. Combine the boiled water, vinegar and sugar and stir. Pour it over the carrots and let them marinade for 20 minutes in the fridge while the cauliflower bakes.
  6. In a large bowl add the baby spinach and cilantro. Once the cauliflower has baked, arrange this over the spinach. Drain the carrots, then add them too. Drizzle with the cashew dressing and top with the fried shallots.
  7. Serve with extra lemon wedges.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 152Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 629mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 6gSugar: 6gProtein: 5g

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