Roasted Cauliflower Salad – Restaurant Inspired

Roasted Cauliflower Salad – Restaurant Inspired

While visiting Sultan Cafe in Downtown Richardson, I ordered a side dish with a very unassuming name on the menu: “Cauliflower”. That’s right – the menu simply said that. I first thought it was deep fried cauliflower, but it was actually a creamy salad. As a cauliflower lover, I was quite impressed by this dish and the creative idea.

It has been a little hobby of mine to try duplicating a dish I liked from a restaurant. My first project was a copycat version of La Madeleine’s signature tomato soup. I went all in with it, to the point where I even made my own Crème Fraîche to enrich and thicken the soup. Eventually I achieved a recipe approved by my wife and daughter, but being the “perfectionist” as they call me, I’m still working towards that 100% ideal replication.

Luckily, the cauliflower salad from Sultan Cafe wasn’t too hard to figure out. To me, as long as I can get the texture right, the flavor can be fine-tuned over time.

Here’s the basic recipe I came up with:

1 head of cauliflower
4 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
1 cup of Greek yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Start by breaking the cauliflower into small pieces, add the unpeeled garlic and toss with salt, pepper and olive oil. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread the cauliflower pieces across. Roast for 30 minutes. The garlic is roasted with skin on so that it won’t burn.

Peel and mince the roasted garlic. Roughly chop the cauliflower. Do not use food processor, which will turn it into a puree instead of salad.

Stir in the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise and season with more salt. At this point you can call it a day like I did, since the natural taste of roasted cauliflower is well enhanced by the garlic and yogurt, but feel free to add more seasonings such as:

Garlic powder
Onion powder
Paprika
Sugar or honey
Lemon or lime juice
Or even minced pickles!

This side dish is light and refreshing, which pairs well with any heavily seasoned meats such as kebabs to balance out the richness. If you decide to try this recipe, please leave a comment and let me know whether it worked out for you!

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