Tuesday, January 26

A Brilliant Winter Salad of Roasted Purple Cauliflower and Arugula

purple cauliflower

A couple of years ago if someone told you that your blueberries were loaded with anthocyanins, you'd probably have dumped the bowl down the garbage disposal and called 911 to report being poisoned.

Anthocyanin sounds scary, kind of like cyanide. Fortunately it's a good word; "anthocyanin" is derived from two Greek words, "anthos " (flower) and "kyanos" (blue). It makes sense, therefore, that anthocyanin pigments are responsible for the blue, purple, and red color of many fruits, vegetables, and flowers.

When it comes to food, anthocyanins are little health workhorses. They're associated with a decreased risk of many illnesses including cancer, high blood pressure, and even Alzheimer's. Fruits and vegetables that are brightly colored are even better for you. That helps explains why pomegranates, blueberries, broccoli, and red grapes are on virtually every Top 10 Healthiest Foods list ever written.

roasted purple cauliflower and arugula salad DSC_0007

Purple cauliflower, which is currently in season, owes its stunning color to anthocyanins. This cheeky variety, along with its cousins, orange and green cauliflower, have helped make cauliflower fashionable.

Use purple cauliflower in cooking as you would use white cauliflower. Steam, saute, bake, or roast it; just don't overcook it, or you'll risk mushiness. If you boil it, add a few drops of vinegar to the water to help maintain its vivid color. The texture is the same as white cauliflower although the flavor is slightly sweeter.

One of my favorite ways to enjoy purple cauliflower is in winter salads like this Roasted Purple Cauliflower and Arugula Salad. Roasted purple cauliflower and peppery arugula are dressed in a light and refreshing lemon-mustard-rosemary vinaigrette. The flavors match the vegetables' brilliant color making this a winter salad guaranteed to brighten any cold, gray day.


Roasted Purple Cauliflower and Arugula Salad
Makes 6 servings
Print recipe only here.

1 medium head purple cauliflower, broken into florets
1 tablespoon olive oil
several shakes of salt and black pepper
6-7 ounces fresh arugula

Vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons grainy/spicy mustard
1 teaspoon lemon zest (about half of 1 lemon)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place cauliflower in a large baking dish. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss until coated. Cook for 30 minutes, or until lightly brown and crisp.

2. Whisk all dressing ingredients in a small bowl.

3. Place arugula in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss. Add roasted cauliflower and toss. Serve warm.

Here are more colorful vegetable recipes from Food Blogga:
Patriotic Potato Salad
Orange Cauliflower Mac 'n Cheese (yes, it's healthier and good)
Roasted Rainbow Carrots and String Beans with Citrus-Sage Glaze
Olive Oil, Caramelized Onion, and Sage Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Here are more pretty purple cauliflower recipes you might like:
Purple Cauliflower Soup recipe at Chez Us
Purple Cauliflower Taboule Salad recipe at Citronetvanille 
Colorful Cardamom Roasted Cauliflower recipe at Sunday Nite Dinner
Roasted Purple Cauliflower with Ghee, Mustard, and Cumin recipe at Tigers and Strawberries

30 comments:

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

The color of purple cauliflower is so attractive - but I've never bought it, because I didn't feel like I had a special recipe to highlight the color. Thank you - now I do! And, as always, I'm so jealous of your winter vegetable selection out West! I'm also craving purple carrots ...

RecipeGirl said...

It's so pretty in that salad! There is nothing better than roasted cauliflower too. I love the stuff.

Maria said...

Cauliflower is the one vegetable my husband won't eat. I don't get it. I love it. Maybe if I serve him purple cauliflower he won't know what he is eating. Your salad is gorgeous!

Kalyn said...

What a beautiful salad, and I love the combinations in your dressing too.

The Food Hunter said...

I've never seen purple cauliflower before...I need to find me some.

Manggy said...

Lol, it sure puts some of the negative attitudes we have towards food *now* in perspective ;) I just had cauliflower myself just now. Love the stuff :) I would gladly have a plateful of this too!

Mary W said...

Susan - I was never a cauliflower fan but your picture of this salad may convert me. lol The contrast between purple cauliflower and green aregula is gorgeous.

I'm a new reader and fellow San Diegan. Do you get your produce at Farmer's markets? Which one? I go to Hillcrest on Sundays when my garden offerings get sparse or boring.

carolyn said...

This is how I justify my red zin consumption. The flavonoids, of course! I love the idea of warm roasted cauliflower tossed in vinaigrette. Yum!

Bellini Valli said...

This would really brighten up a meal Susan.

Nate @ House of Annie said...

Beautiful. Mix it with some orange and Romanescu cauliflower and that would make quite an attractive plate!

Sean said...

This would be a fun ingredient to use for a Mardi Gras themed dish!

Johanna GGG said...

What a gorgeous salad - it would make me happy to have winter all year round - I have been lucky enough to find purple cauliflower twice and I love it to bits - last time I used it for cauliflower rice and it looks so amazing

Tasty Eats At Home said...

I love finding purple veggies! I was excited that our local Kroger started carrying purple cauliflower, purple potatoes, and purple green beans (that's kinda an oxymoron...). This looks so yummy!

glutenfreeforgood said...

Wow, beautiful colors! I also love the sound of your vinaigrette. This is one of those salads where "less is more." It looks and sounds delicious. And healthy! I'll be trying this one for sure. Thanks

Nicole said...

Purple cauliflower?! Now I'm jealous. I am on a mission now to find it. Just started following your blog. Looks great.

Chez Us said...

Susan, thank you for the mention on your post. The salad looks and sounds delicious. Isn't purple cauliflower so much fun. I love picking up all different colors as it adds a little variety to dinner and to cauliflower!

lisaiscooking said...

These colors are so pretty, and the vinaigrette sounds delicious!

The Teacher Cooks said...

The color of the cauliflower is beautiful!

Christine said...

This is a lovely salad, Susan. Healthy cauliflower, arugula (my favorite!) and a killer dressing. Way to go!

vickys said...

This is a really strange thing to say but...I think purple cauliflowers are so pretty that they could be a centrepiece! :) Okay, maybe it's strange.

Cristie said...

Love to read posts by someone else spreading the good news about anthocyanins! As a biology buff and foodie, I try to eat as many colorful foods as possible. The deeper the hue and brighter the better, as long as bright's not white. Thanks for the post.

Kelly said...

Really do you realize that I am officially classifying your blog as food porn!!! Everything you make and feature looks amazing!!! :)

ChichaJo said...

What amazing color! We don't get that much over here but when I spot some I'll make sure to grab it!

tracieMoo said...

I just love the colour of the purple cauliflower. Sounds like a great salad!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

That's so cool. I have to troll the farmer's markets now to see if I can find any purple cauliflower!

LetMeEatCake Eat With Me! said...

wow what a beautiful salad. I would have never thought to add cauliflower to arugula, but it looks like a great pairing. I too make a lemon mustard dressing for my arugula, but the rosemary addition sounds lovely! can't wait to try it! I've been looking for a reason to buy those beautiful purple cauliflowers from the farmers market!

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

What a beautiful and easy salad. Love those flavours and colours!

Chow and Chatter said...

looks wonderful and what a well written and informative post love it

Unplanned Cooking said...

I've never seen purple cauliflower before. What a great find - perfect to brighten up our long winters.

Wedding Cakes Pictures said...

Such a beautiful colour theme! maybe if I buy an exciting purple cauliflower like that it will entice my son to eat some veggies!

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