Roasted Cauliflower with Walnuts and Pickled Plum Vinaigrette (vegan recipe)

I’m usually not a big fan of cauliflower. It’s tendency to be mushy or watery has always made me reach for broccoli instead. But when I spied some California-grown cauliflower on sale yesterday, I decided to give it another chance.

This roasted cauliflower dish totally made me a convert. Now I can’t wait for local farms to start selling early spring varieties!

Roasted Cauliflower with Walnuts and Pickled Plum Vinaigrette

Makes 4 servings.

  • 1 large head cauliflower, cored, trimmed, and separated into florets
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons ume plum vinegar*
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons green onions or scallions, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Put the cauliflower in a roasting pan, drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to distribute the oil and seasonings. Roast for 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette in a small bowl. Whisk the remaining oil with the vinegar and a little pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

3. Remove the pan from the oven and drizzle the cauliflower with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Toss the cauliflower to coat it with the vinaigrette. Return to the oven and roast for another 15 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, toast the walnuts. In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the nuts for 6 to 7 minutes until fragrant, shaking the pan occasionally for even browning. Transfer the nuts to a large salad bowl and set aside.

5. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and add it to the large salad bowl. Add the remaining vinaigrette and toss. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Garnish with green onions if you like. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

* Ume plum vinegar is made from umeboshi, or pickled Japanese plums. It’s fruity, complex, and high in umami.ย Here the ume plum vinegar gives the roasted vegetables an almost haunting flavor that cannot be attained with other fruity vinegars such as balsamic.

Image courtesy of Maggie Hoffman via a Creative Commons license.

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