Good Enough To Repeat

July 17, 2010

With notebooks full of food magazine recipes dating back to 1993 and well over 100 cookbooks, I don’t repeat recipes often.  There is always the next thing to try.  So it should tell you something significant that I made this salad twice in one week.

Spinach salads are not my favorite.  I find raw spinach to be kind of gritty texture-wise and kind of a zero in the flavor department.  Not that lettuce is so flavoful but at least it has crunch.  I love the idea of a wilted spinach salad because I do like cooked (or at least softened) spinach, but my experience of those is that they contain bacon.  Who knew you could just roast cauliflower and use that as your spinach softener?

Amongst the many treasures to be found in the Ottolenghi cookbook, this is one of the first recipes I flagged.  Originially the cauliflower was meant to be grilled, but I roasted mine in the oven so I didn’t have to watch it too carefully.  The ingredients may sound pedestrian but the result is not.  The dressing is so good that I just kept adding to it over the course of the week and combining it with different things until I made this salad again.

One Year Ago: Gnocchi with Mushroom Sauce
Two Years Ago: Zucchini Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Mint

Roasted Cauliflower with Tomato, Dill, and Capers
Adapted from Ottolenghi, The Cookbook
Serves 4-6

I served this as a salad but it could be a side dish as well.

2 tbsp. capers, drained and roughly chopped
1 tbsp. wholegrain mustard
1 garlic clove, pressed
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for the cauliflower
1 medium cauliflower, divided into florets
1 tbsp. chopped dill
4 oz. baby spinach leaves
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half

For the dressing, place the capers, mustard, garlic, and vinegar in a medium sized jar.  Add a big pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper.  Give the jar a vigorous shake.  Add the olive oil, then shake again.  Taste for balance of flavor and adjust accordingly.

Preheat the oven to 425ºF.  Place the cauliflower florets on a baking sheet and drizzle them with olive oil, then sprinkle them with salt and pepper.  Roast in the middle of the oven until cooked through and deep brown in spots, turning once, about 25 minutes in total.

Place the spinach, tomatoes, and dill in a large bowl.  Once the cauliflower is done, and while it is still hot, add it to the bowl as well.  Drizzle in about half the dressing and toss to coat.  Add more dressing as necessary.  Can be served warm or room temperature.


  1. I just got a beautiful head of yellow cauliflower from my CSA that will be made into this salad! I’m so excited to try it! Thanks Dana

    Comment by Dana Zia — July 18, 2010 @ 12:28 am

  2. I recently discovered how wonderful cauliflower tastes when you roast it a little – it elevates the humble vegetable to a higher level . Love the dish and I especially love the plates and bowls you are using of late – gorgeous mediterranean blue !!!!

    Comment by Gourmet Goddess — July 18, 2010 @ 12:51 am

  3. Cauliflower is my very favorite vegetable, and I LOVE it roasted!
    Sometimes repeat performances are even better the second time!

    I love your daily posts.

    Comment by Stacey Snacks — July 18, 2010 @ 1:33 am

  4. Tomato, dill, and capers sound anything but boring to me.

    I don’t make recipes twice either. There’s too much I want to eat and way too little time. The only time I DO repeat is for my parents who are so picky that finding recipes they will like is like searching for a needle in a haystack. The moral being when I find something they approve of, I stick with it. It’s disheartening but what can you do.

    This salad does sound quite fantastic…especially for a spinach salad lover like myself!

    Comment by Joanne — July 18, 2010 @ 2:50 am

  5. It is telling when a dish comes to mind over and over! The cauliflower with the spinach sounds great here. You’re convincing me I should get the Ottolenghi books and soon.

    Comment by lisaiscooking — July 18, 2010 @ 3:27 pm

  6. I am also flirting with Ottolenghi books…

    one more post about it might just do it! :-)

    I am amazed at your daily posts, no way I could pull it, you are spoiling us all! (Thank you!)

    Comment by SallyBR — July 18, 2010 @ 10:46 pm

  7. That salad looks delicious. I love everything about it. I’ll have to try it soon. Thanks for sharing it!

    Comment by MollyCookie — July 19, 2010 @ 1:50 am

  8. Yummy! I’ll have to try this one – I’m still trying to win my hubster over on the roasted cauliflower concept. If you’re looking for another wilted-spinach-without-bacon option, you might like the roasted garbanzo and tomato version I posted a while back on my blog. I’m with you, spinach is best when warmed!

    Comment by Stephanie - Chocolate and Toast — July 19, 2010 @ 3:33 am

  9. Coincidentally spinach and cauliflower are about the few vegetables I eat, so this definitely looks like a treat to me!

    Comment by ovenhaven — July 19, 2010 @ 2:48 pm

  10. This salad is a treasure. Fiercely beautiful and flavors that I love.

    Comment by Tracy — July 19, 2010 @ 3:59 pm

  11. I too rarely repeat recipes, which is how I know this one must be a winner! Love the ingredient combo here–can’t wait to try this!

    Comment by Natalie (The Sweets Life) — July 19, 2010 @ 5:32 pm

  12. Ooo I love roasted cauliflower!! For some reason I’ve never really done it before but I did last week and couldn’t stop eating it! So tasty. This salad looks really good. I love how it’s not mostly spinach and has a good mixture of different things.

    Comment by Ashley — July 19, 2010 @ 6:26 pm

  13. this looks great! and i have all of these things in my fridge … and a family lunch tomorrow …
    thanks :)

    Comment by Amanda@easypeasyorganic — July 19, 2010 @ 6:47 pm

  14. There is nothing pedestrian about this. It looks gorgeous. I adore roasted cauliflower. It’s the best way to have it!

    Comment by redmenace — July 19, 2010 @ 9:19 pm

  15. I could eat this salad every night and be content!

    Comment by Maria — July 19, 2010 @ 9:50 pm

  16. Nice salad…cauliflower, spinach and tomatoes…great for this hot weather :-)

    Comment by Juliana — July 19, 2010 @ 9:51 pm

  17. At this rate, I am not going to have to buy that book! I love roasted cauliflower and it makes this light salad so much more of a main course. I will be trying ths soon!

    Comment by fresh365 — July 20, 2010 @ 12:42 pm

  18. Beautiful recipe Dana! Cauliflower season has not started yet on the East Coast, but when it does, I cook with it often. This salad looks totally scrumptious – understand why you made it twice in a week!

    Comment by Viviane Bauquet Farre / food & style — July 20, 2010 @ 1:52 pm

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