A cool low carb, keto or paleo-friendly salad of roasted cauliflower, shaved brussels sprouts, fennel, and sunflower seeds dressed with a lemon herb sauce. Delicious on its own for a light lunch or on the side with grilled chicken, fish, or pork. Served room temperature or chilled, this light, herbal salad is a celebration of textures and complimentary vegetables.
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Best Roasted Cauliflower Salad – Keto, Low Carb, Paleo, Gluten-free
Last week, I was in New York for a food photography and food styling class at the Institute of Culinary Education in Lower Manhattan hosted by Alex Shytsman of The New Baguette. Before the class on Sunday, I spent a few days exploring and celebrating the city and it’s food with my sister. After parking my suitcase with Claire (who works in Union Square) I went to find lunch. She recommended Ole and Steen, a new Danish bakery and cafe, a few blocks away.
Being famished from the early morning flight and bus ride into the city, I ordered way too much: smoked salmon opened faced on carrot rye, grilled broccolini with quinoa, and a roasted cauliflower salad. I’m not sure who was going to eat all that food, but I made a valiant effort. Everything was incredible, but the roasted cauliflower salad was hands-down my favorite. This Roasted Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts Salad with Sauce Verte is my attempt at recreating for you what I had that afternoon. If you can’t make it to NYC, this will do the trick.
How to make Roasted Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts Salad
There are enough versions of roasted cauliflower salad on the Internet to keep you searching for the perfect recipe for days. What I love about this salad is that it pairs two of my favorite vegetables: cauliflower and brussels sprouts. The roasted cauliflower provides a little smoke and char while the shaved sprouts (which are raw by the way) give you that green component without the softness of a lettuce. I added thinly shaved fennel and sunflower seeds to round out the salad and add one more element of crunch.
Finally, the salad is dressed with a sauce verte. Every culture seems to have their own variant of a “green sauce”, but this version is a bit more akin to the French version. You may see a number of other French-style sauce verte recipes that are more like a mayonnaise. For ease of dressing your salad, this is a vinaigrette.
This salad is wonderful at room temperature, but I do really like it chilled. Letting the flavors meld and the dressing work in to the veggies adds so much more to the final product. It’s even scrumptious the next day! It’s a great light lunch or as a side with grilled chicken, pork, or a fish.
Low Carb Keto Cauliflower Salad Tips & Tricks
Use fresh, not pre-packaged vegetables and roast your own cauliflower. I know you can find so much frozen or pre-packaged these days, but this is not the place for it. Roasting your own cauliflower is so easy and worth the reward. Shredded your own sprouts is also not challenging. I will normally trim the ends and remove the outer leaves of the sprout, half it and then slice vertically to form little ribbons. It can be a bit tedious, but I’m always leery of what they put in those pre-cut bags to keep everything fresh.
If you do not own a mandolin slicer, you can still shave your own fennel. I suggest cutting the bulb in half after removing the outer layer and the stem. Using a sharp chef’s knife, you can easily make paper-thin slices. It takes quite a bit of concentration on my part, so I found it was simply easier to buy a small handheld mandolin.
Sauce Verte is adaptable. If you do not have access to fresh tarragon, you could substitute cilantro, chervil, or basil. Obviously, this is going to change the final flavor profile, but any of these will be tasty with the other ingredients.
Other Low Carb Keto Cauliflower Recipes you’ll love
- Summer Squash Cauliflower Rice Salad
- Filipino-style Garlic Fried Cauliflower Rice
- Cauliflower Fennel Feta Pesto Salad
Roasted cauliflower and shaved brussels sprouts with fennel and sunflower seeds dressed with herbs and lemon.
- 4 cups cauliflower florets
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 1/2 cups brussels sprouts, shredded
- 1 small bulb of fennel, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup roasted, salted sunflower seeds
- sea salt
- black pepper
- 2 tsp caper brining liquid
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 small shallot, chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
- 1/3 cup fresh tarragon leaves
- 1/4 cup fresh chives
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt
- black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, combine cauliflower florets and olive oil. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and fresh pepper. Spread evenly on the baking sheet. Roast for 15-20 minutes. Once cauliflower has browned, remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- While cauliflower roasts, combine brussels sprouts and shaved fennel in a large mixing bowl. Toss to combine.
- To make the dressing, combine all ingredients except the oil in a blender carafe. Pulse a few times to finely chop herbs. With the motor running, drizzle olive oil until a smooth sauce forms. Taste and add additional salt or pepper if needed.
- Add cooled cauliflower to the large mixing bowl with the other vegetables. Dress with sauce verte and toss to evenly coat. Add sunflower seeds and toss. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
- Serve at room temperature or refrigerate until serving. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
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