This warm cauliflower salad is healthy, with clementine sections and pomegranate seeds, but also lush with vinaigrette, pine nuts, and buttered bread crumbs.
I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. I don’t know who said it first, but it definitely seems like New Year’s resolutions are made to be broken. If you are a resolution-maker, please correct me if I’m wrong…but I feel like if you make a resolution, the second you slip up, your resolution is kind of toast.
Instead, I decided to work in terms that are a little more familiar to me: setting goals for myself. I’ve worked in special education for the last fifteen years and every child that I work with has an individualized education plan (IEP) that has long terms goals and, in some cases, short-term objectives. Objectives are essentially just smaller pieces of the goal. THAT I can do.
The holidays kind of did me in. I went off the deep end a little bit in terms of what I ate, and I was really okay with that because this: I knew I was going to make some changes are I went back to work. I considered doing a Whole30 but finally decided that my goal was to eat fewer processed foods and more fruits and vegetables. I think that making these changes will make me feel better over time and, quite possibly, help me lose a few.
My strategy? For starters, salad. All the salad. We’re a week in as I write this and I have eaten a lot of salads. I’m not tired of them yet. I really believe that’s because I’ve made an effort to shake up my salad game. Salads do not have to be about some tired lettuce in a bowl with some bottled dressing and maybe a couple of half-hearted toppings. I started dreaming of a warm cauliflower salad with some sweet elements, some savory elements, and some crunchy elements.
I don’t believe in fat-free dressings, or fat-free salads, or really anything fat-free unless it come from nature that way (i.e. fruits and vegetables). Science has actually shown that a little fat with fruits and vegetables help the body to better absorb the nutrients…so I thought, “Sure, this salad has olive oil in the vinaigrette, but why not some buttery panko bread crumbs?” I mean really, why not? I did not regret it. I love vegetables anyway, but with ingredients like I put in this warm cauliflower salad, I don’t think eating more of them is going to be an issue!
Did you make resolutions this year? And what is your strategy for getting more fruits and vegetables into your diet?
10 minPrep Time:
25 minCook Time:
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
- salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup panko crumbs
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 3 clementines or 1 seedless orange, peeled and sectioned (if using an orange, cut into pieces)
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Pour the 2 tablespoons of olive oil onto a baking sheet and spread it around.
- Place the cauliflower florets onto the baking sheet and toss with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the cauliflower into the oven and roast until lightly browned, 20-25 minutes.
- While the cauliflower is roasting, make the vinaigrette: place the mustard, salt and pepper, and the red wine vinegar into a small bowl. Slowly drizzle in the 1/4 cup olive oil while whisking constantly.
- In a small skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the panko crumbs and the pine nuts. Cook, stirring constantly, until the bread crumbs and pine nuts are lightly browned.
- Place the cauliflower into a bowl and toss with the vinaigrette. Sprinkle over the clementine or orange sections and the pomegranate seeds. Sprinkle the bread crumbs and pine nuts over the top and serve immediately.