Cauliflower Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
June 5, 2009


People spend a lot of time asking me, “you eat [insert name of vegetable here] raw?!” And I spend a lot of time responding, “yes!” Truth is, I prefer most veggies raw—even beets and collards and other fibrous ones. I actually hate cooked spinach—for whatever reason, it gives me the heebie jeebies.

I will admit, though, that not all raw vegetables are my friend. And foremost among the list of “must heat to eat” veggies is broccoli; I can eat it raw if I marinate it for a long time, but on the whole, I truly prefer it gently steamed (which is cool, since some of the nutrients in broccoli are actually released by cooking).

Cauliflower, however, is another story. I LOVE raw cauliflower, and I eat it often (in fact, I hope this will be the first of many spins on raw cauliflower that I share with you guys). I enjoy marinating it, grinding it with nuts for my version of raw “mashed potatoes,” and most of all, I enjoy making this simple cauliflower salad. All it demands is some time spent chopping, which is minimal with the help of a food processor. This salad is light, versatile, and easily modified or added to. Best of all, it’s full of Vitamins C, K, folate and fiber. Give it a shot, and enjoy!

Cauliflower Salad with Orange Vinaigrette (serves 2)


For the salad:

2 cups cauliflower, raw (you can steam gently if you like)
1 stalk shaved or chopped asparagus
2 small carrots, shaved, chopped, or julienned
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
3 tbsp golden raisins

For the dressing:

3 tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
¼ tsp sea salt
Pepper to taste

To make the salad, simply pulse the cauliflower in a food processor till it reaches a chopped, yet well defined consistency (you can also do this by hand—it’ll just take longer!). Toss with the other ingredients and set aside

To make the dressing, simply whisk all ingredients together. Pour about 1/3 of a cup of this over the salad, toss, and enjoy! (You can use more or less dressing if you wish, but I always have some leftover for a green salad to go alongside).

It’s been a long and busy week, guys! I’m really glad that the soy article provoked some interested. Stay tuned for a fun weekend: I’ll have a guest post up on the blogosphere tomorrow (I’ll post a link midday when it’s published) and some fun restaurant food porn, since it’s my birthday on Sunday. Here’s hoping for sunshine!


Categories: Small Plates, Raw, Salads

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  1. Orange-Mint Salad—

    This salad was inspired by one of my kids commenting that “oranges are so every day.” My mom remembers when oranges were a treat. I love oranges, so I wanted to make something a little different. I’m also enjoying using our abundant spearmint while it is still fresh from the garden.

    Thinly slice several spearmint leaves, to taste.

    Mix in some brown sugar, to taste. I used a bit too much for our tastes, about ½ T.

    Peel and chunk oranges. I used two California navels. You can see the effect of the brown sugar in the difference.

    This was sweet and tangy and not too juicy. My kids thought it was “ok.”

    for more information

  2. I just made this for lunch and it’s delicious!! What a great salad for a summery day, which it is here….69 degrees and sunny 🙂 Will be blogging about it later.

  3. Hi Gena! I found your blog and wanted to share a recipe I had that was similar to yours. I had it at a restaurant and loved it. It had raw cauliflower, pomegranate seeds, chopped almonds and oranges. It was in an orange basil vinegrette and was wonderful. I loved the crunch from the nuts and the seeds. It is going to be served at my house on Thansgiving b/c I loved it so much. Hope you like it!


  4. Ya know what, I really prefer most vegies raw! Even when I was little I would eat all the raw veggies at birthday parties & stuff. But unlike you I like raw broccoli!

    Hey and have an amazing birthday!!!!

  5. I felt really bad for falling off the wagon today. There wasn’t much option on the menu today, so I chose grilled shrimp and it’s funny that haven’t had seafood for 2 weeks, I don’t crave meat (aside from dairy) anymore. I wanted to stick to a vegetarian diet, but I also wasn’t in the mood for a vegetarian rice dish. It’s still quite difficult for me to dine out whether it’s a raw or vegetarian diet.

    How do you substitute dairy? I’m still haven’t a difficult time weaning off it since I like it in my cereal.

    • Hey K,

      Try really hard not to feel so bad! Look at it this way: would you feel GOOD about one single day of healthy eats if you ate like crap the rest of the time? No, probably not. One UNheatly day amidst so many healthy days will not derail you!

      I don’t miss dairy at all, as long as I can make nut “cheese” once in a while. I never liked cereal and use almond milk when I need anything milk like! You can find the Pacific or Blue Diamond brands most everywhere…


  6. Gena,
    This sounds delicious. I swear, I just need to start a whole Gena cookbook as I have so many of your recipes bookmarked.

    Oh, and I totally agree with you on broccoli. I can eat my weight in steamed broccoli, but I DO NOT like it raw. Blech!

    Have a wonderful birthday!!!!

  7. Oh man, I LOVE raw cauliflower. Used to eat it dipped into hummus, now I do salsa and it’s delish!


    Case x

  8. happy almost bday, can’t wait to celebrate!

    I love c-flower and I think raisins are most delicious when plumped up from marinating, so this is a must try!

  9. i feel the same way about broccoli…my stomach doesnt do well with it, and i think its sooo much better steamed. maybe im a freak, but it also makes me burp (a lot) when eaten raw. sadly, i can recall MANY a pool party or holiday party when i was younger in which veggie trays had some of the only items i could eat…now my fam and friends have explanded their paletes. im not going to take all the credit, but its a nice change 🙂

  10. i have the same preference for slightly steamed broccoli and raw cauliflower, but i loved cooked spinach 🙂 your salad sounds delicious- the addition of the golden raisins sounds yummy!

  11. Oohh, a fellow Gemini – have a great birthday weekend!

    This looks great and the flavors look very refreshing; I hope to make it soon.


    • Then go ahead and steam it! Should be just as tasty. Just don’t OVER-steam it: then it’ll be a mushy salad 🙁

  12. I also absolutely hate cooked spinach, it just tastes so weird and looks wrong, wilted and cooked leaves always look strange.
    The salad looks yum, I’ve never tried cauliflower raw before, I can’t wait to try it now.

  13. I have all of these ingredients!!! YES!

    I’m going to have to steam the cauliflower though because eating it raw makes me gassy. So does red cabbage :\ Which sucks because I love slaws. Funny how slaw is such an unappetizing word.

  14. I made a similar recipe for my first Thanksgiving in the raw. BIG hit, even with all the cooked Hungarians at the table.

    I would love your “mashed potatoes” recipe. hint*hint 😀

  15. I love cauliflower raw (not so much cooked). There are certain veggies I only like cooked too..spinach being one (haha)..I can eat it raw, but I prefere it cooked! 🙂

    Have a wonderful bday!

  16. Woo hoo for upcoming birthday! This recipe looks great. I know I don’t like broccoli raw, so I will continue cooking that, but I don’t even know if I’ve ever had raw cauliflower! I love the nutty taste it gets when cooked, so I should probably give it a chance raw. This salad would be a good place to start! Cooked cauliflower can be schtank anyway, both before and after consumption. 😉

    Have a great weekend, Gena!

  17. Raw cauliflower is my FAVORITE! For some reason, I cannot choke down cooked spinach either, I prefer it raw any day!

    I made the cucumber rolls (the ones you posted on Jenna’s blog a while ago) today, and they were delicious!!

  18. Hi Gena! I don’t know if you remember me from our short email conversation a while ago, but I finally created a blog! I’ve been inspired by you to add some raw foods here and there throughout my day. I should start participating in the Raw Wednesday Challenge.

    I love beets raw too. I grate it into salads and it adds great flavor and sweetness. Good to know that broccoli is more nutritious steamed. I like it raw, but prefer it cooked. That recipe looks like another must try on my list 😀

    • Hey Maria —

      Congrats on the blog! I’m going to check it out in a moment. And definitely do go with the raw weds — I’m encouraging all readers to keep it up 🙂


  19. That looks so fresh and simple, but I would never think to make it on my own – thanks, as always, for the inspiration!

    I hope you have a WONDERFUL birthday!