I made this salad for dinner last night as I was looking for something light to enjoy after a big food day at work, and I was craving something satisfying but veggie forward. This salad fully delivered – the roasted cauliflower was warm and quite filling, the pears offered beautiful color and their light, fruity sweetness, while the arugula contributed that hint of green that my body was craving, and spiked the salad with a delightful peppery crunch. I dressed this salad simply with a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of good olive oil, which brightened the whole dish and made everything feel super fresh. This salad looked very festive with the red and green colors, and was full of wintery/fall vibes with the coziness of the roasted cauliflower. Make a lot of this for meal prep throughout the week, because this salad is so good, you’ll want to eat it on repeat!
Although roasting cauliflower is a time-intensive step, remember that roasting is hands-off cooking time that you can use to do other things (wash your dishes, tidy up the house, watch a show, work out – so many choices!). Once that time is up, the salad comes together quite quickly, and is incredibly worth the wait for the cauliflower to perfectly roast. If you want to meal-prep this salad (and you totally should), go ahead and roast up a couple of heads of cauliflower to have on stand-by in your fridge. The rest of the salad should be assembled as close to eating as possible (pears hold up okay, but arugula can get wilty and brown after only a few minutes). Remember, assembly is the easy part here, so once you have the roasted cauliflower prepped, you can have this salad in 10 minutes or less.
Recipe down below, photo up top! This makes enough for one big serving (I can eat a lot of veggies!), so feel free to scale up for meal prep or family-sized purposes.
Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Pears and Arugula
- 1 cup of cauliflower florets
- About ½ to ⅓ of the entire head
- 1 pear, cored and diced
- ½ cup arugula
- A small handful will do nicely
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tsp for dressing
- ¼ tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized florets, and arrange on a sheet pan in a single layer. Drizzle with the tablespoon of olive oil and salt, and toss to combine. Rearrange everything back into a single layer and place the baking sheet in the oven to roast at 375F for 45 minutes. Once the cauliflower is fully tender and golden brown, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly on the baking sheet, about 5 minutes more before assembling the salad.
- Once the cauliflower has been removed from the oven, roughly chop the arugula into bite sized (about 2 inch) pieces, and add to a bowl. Remove the core from the pear and chop into large dice, and add those to the bowl as well. Finally, add the roasted cauliflower to the bowl. Drizzle everything in the bowl with the freshly squeezed lemon juice and some additional olive oil (extra virgin, if you have it), and use your hands or two forks to toss until fully combined.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!