Dressed in roasted red pepper vinaigrette, this simple roasted cauliflower potato salad can be served as a salad or a side during any season.
Dressed in roasted red pepper vinaigrette, this simple roasted cauliflower potato salad can be served as a salad or a side for any meal during any season.
Two things I get really excited about are roasted cauliflower and roasted potatoes. They are a couple of my favorites to throw on a sheet pan. I just love roasting vegetables, so I always make a little bit extra or assume that some won’t end up in the final dish. That’s because I can’t resist eating them right off the baking sheet when they come out of the oven.
You might be wondering why I even call this a salad. And that’s because of the roasted red pepper vinaigrette. It gives me permission to use the word salad. I am a big fan of no mayo potato salads. The acidity of an oil and vinegar dressing makes it a healthier version that’s more interesting than something heavy with sour cream or another ingredient you would find in classic potato salad.
As much as I love my spuds and have them on regular rotation, I never feel like cauliflower is taking the place of potatoes because they pair so well together.
Also, not all salads have to include greens. But if you do want to add some that’s perfectly fine too. Take advantage of the versatility and flexibility of this dish and make it work with whatever else you are serving. What you call it doesn’t matter.
Roasting Two Vegetables in One Recipe
For this recipe, I keep the potatoes and cauliflower on two separate large baking sheets. They do have different cook times. The potatoes take longer, but that’s not the most important reason why. Whenever you are roasting, you want to make sure not to crowd the veggies and place them in single layers on the pans. Otherwise they will end up steaming instead of roasting. And you will miss out on getting that nice browned outside with crisp edges.
Going back to roasting time, the other benefit of keeping them on different pans is that you have more control. You may need to give the cauliflower a few minutes longer, but the potatoes are already done. This takes the pressure off. Never one to create extra dishes, I’m sure you can understand why it’s worth washing another pan.
Ingredients & Substitutions
This is what you need:
Potatoes: Small and kind of stubby, fingerling potatoes are my go-to for salads because of their size. They are easy to prep too. All you have to do is slice them in half lengthwise. At the grocery, you will often find them in bags with different types mixed together. At the farmer’s market you can get more specific picking Russian Banana, Purple Peruvian and Rose Finn Apple from bins.
Cauliflower: Look for a head of cauliflower that feels heavy for its size and doesn’t have any brown spots. Instead of just splitting it into florets, cut cauliflower like you would for steaks and slice it. Then break those slices into to small to medium cauliflower florets. The flat sides are the best way to make full contact with the pan, maximizing browning potential when the cauliflower pieces roast.
Olive oil is important for every component of this recipe from the veggies to the vinaigrette. So use high-quality extra virgin olive oil.
Salt & pepper: Just like oil, everything is seasoned along the way from roasting to making the salad dressing.
Pine nuts are a final addition. To toast them, I take advantage of the oven. Since it’s kicked up to 400 degrees F, a temperature that would be too hot to toast nuts, I add them to the pan with the cauliflower when it only has a few minutes left to cook. It’s a super fast way to toast them. Walnuts are a great substitute too.
Roasted red pepper vinaigrette: With just 5 ingredients, the salad dressing uses one of my pantry mainstays, jarred roasted red peppers. I blend them with white balsamic vinaigrette, olive oil, salt and pepper. Regular, dark balsamic vinaigrette can be used instead, but the flavor will be stronger and it will affect the color.
Parsley, chopped, is that final fresh and herby touch. I am always layering in more flavors when I make something.
How To Make This Roasted Cauliflower Potato Salad
Follow these simple steps:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Prep and roast the potatoes. Toss the potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper and put them cut side down on the sheet pan. Roast for about 25-30 minutes until they are golden brown on one side. Then flip them over and finish roasting for 10 minutes.
Prep and roast the cauliflower. Toss the fresh cauliflower with olive oil, salt and pepper and spread it across another sheet pan. Roast for 10 minutes until it’s golden brown on the edges. Then flip it over to the other side and continue roasting for 10 minutes.
Add the pine nuts to pan with the cauliflower in the last few minutes of roasting to toast them.
Make the vinaigrette. Put the roasted red peppers, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor and puree.
Combine the potatoes and cauliflower in a large bowl.
Stir in the vinaigrette and parsley.
This roasted potato salad can be served warm or at room temperature. Again, you can think of it as a combined side and salad or one or the other. Pair it with roasted chicken or turkey. In the spring or at a summer bbq, it’s a great option to go with grilled vegetarian mains.
Full disclosure, the salad is best eaten right after it is roasted. You can store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container, and rewarm them in a 350-degree oven. The potatoes won’t be as crisp.
1 head cauliflower (about 1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch thick slices, then break into small to medium florets
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons pine nuts
2 roasted red peppers (from a jar, about 1/4 cup packed)
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinaigrette
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
On a sheet pan, toss the potatoes with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Arrange cut side down in a single layer. Roast for 25 minutes until they are golden brown. Flip to the other side and continue roasting for 10 minutes until browned and tender in the middle.
On another sheet pan, toss the cauliflower with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Spread across the pan in a single layer. Roast for 10 minutes until golden brown at the edges and flip to the other side and continue roasting for 10 minutes to brown on the other side. In the last 2-3 minutes of cooking, add the pine nuts to the baking sheet to toast them.
For the vinaigrette, combine the red peppers, white balsamic vinegar, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth.
Combine the potatoes, cauliflower and pine nuts in a large bowl. Stir in the vinaigrette and parsley.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
The salad is best eaten right after it is roasted. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Rewarm as desired in a 350-degree F oven.