California Cauliflower Salad

A rainbow of vegetables paired with a tangy Meyer lemon yogurt dressing makes for a healthy and delicious salad.

During the pandemic, we ate lots of takeout. One of our go-to healthy options was Chop’t Creative Salads, and this recipe is inspired by one of my favorite “Destination” salads. These salads are limited-time only, so when it disappeared, I set out to recreate the flavors.

Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower

Turmeric has been shown to have many health benefits, and it also has a delicious, warm and sweet flavor. Be careful with it, though; it will stain! Wear an apron while cooking with it.

To add complexity to the cauliflower, I created a spice mixture with the turmeric, cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Combining the spices with the oil helps to coat the cauliflower evenly for cooking.

The cauliflower is delicious on its own, but if I were making it as a side dish, I would leave the florets larger and cook it a little longer.

Pickled Red Onions

I happen to love pickled onions, and they will last a long time in the refrigerator. Add them to salads, wraps, tacos, or bowls for extra flavor.

I used Love & Lemons Pickled Red Onion recipe, slicing my onions super-thin so that they pickled quickly. If you make them a day in advance, you can slice them a bit thicker.

The Greens

For the salad, you can really use any greens that you like. I tried to recreate the combination in the original salad using romaine, baby arugula, and purple cabbage. My favorite romaine lettuce is this artisan brand available at Harris Teeter. It has just the right amount of green.

The baby arugula adds a nice peppery flavor, and the shredded cabbage enhances the crunch.

Meal Prepping Salads

I like to make a big batch of salad so that I have a healthy lunch available during the week. The biggest enemy of pre-prepped salads, however, is moisture, so you need to work to combat it.

The first tool I use is a paper towel. I line the bottom of my container with a paper towel leaving plenty to fold over the top. This makes it easy to (slowly and carefully) remove the towel before eating. When, as with this salad, I have ingredients with extra moisture, I try to separate them into compartments so that I can add them right before eating. Crunchy elements, like the pita chips, and the dressing should be packaged separately.

I wash and reuse the small plastic containers to avoid waste.

Packaged in this manner, the salads will remain crispy and delicious for 3-4 days.

California Cauliflower Salad

Difficulty: Intermediate Prep Time 30 min Cook Time 20 min Total Time 50 mins Servings: 4


Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower


Meyer Lemon Yogurt Dressing


Before you begin...

  1. Note: If you are making your own pickled onions, start by preparing those.

    I used this recipe from Love & Lemons. I made half a recipe and  had onions left over. I did include the optional garlic and peppercorns.

Turmeric Roasted Caulifower

  1. Preheat oven to 425℉.

  2. Prepare the cauliflower.

    Break or cut the head of cauliflower into bite-sized pieces. You want the pieces smaller than if you were making it for a vegetable side.

  3. Combine the spices.

    Combine the turmeric, paprika, garlic powder, cumin, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Stir in the olive oil.

    In a large mixing bowl, toss the cauliflower with the oil and spice mixture until thoroughly coated. 

  4. Roast the cauliflower.

    Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the cauliflower in an even layer.

    Bake at 425℉ for about 20 minutes, until just fork-tender. You want it a bit al dente for the salad. Allow to cool. 

Meyer Lemon Yogurt Dressing

  1. Combine lemon juice and garlic.

    Begin by pasting the garlic (finely mincing and smashing) with 1/4 tsp Kosher salt. Let the garlic sit in the lemon juice while preparing the other ingredients.

    You can substitute with regular lemon juice, but you may want to add a teaspoon or two of sugar as Meyer lemons are slightly sweeter than conventional lemons.
  2. Combine dressing.

    Finely chop the parsley; set aside.

    Whisk together the yogurt with the garlic and lemon juice. Then slowly drizzle in the canola oil, whisking constantly. Stir in the parsley and dill weed. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Prepare the Salad.

  1. Prepare the greens.

    Chop the romaine lettuce into bite-sized pieces and combine with the baby arugula. 

    Halve and then quarter and stem the cabbage. Finely shred two of the quarters and add to the lettuce mixture. Toss to combine.

  2. Prepare the remaining ingredients.

    Thinly slice and halve the radishes. I used the lowest setting on my mandolin. Place the pita chips in a zip-top bag and use a rolling pin or small pan to lightly crush. Crumble the feta cheese.

  3. Build each salad.

    For this salad, I find it easiest to add the ingredients to each plate/container. If meal-prepping, line the container with a paper towel. This will help the salad remain crisp.

    Evenly divide the greens mixture between four plates or containers. Divide and add the radishes, 1/2 c. cauliflower, 2 T pickled onions, 2 T. feta cheese, 2 T. pita chips, and 2 T. dressing. Toss and enjoy!

    If your meal-prep containers have compartments, I recommend separating the cauliflower and pickled onions as pictured in the post above.
Keywords: salad, lunch, vegetarian

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