Thanks to a light lemony dressing and lots of fresh herbs, this simple raw cauliflower salad recipe tastes surprisingly delicious and lasts in the fridge for days. The pickled onions are an optional ingredient, but they do take the salad to the next level. Here’s our recipe for pickled onions, so you can see how simple they are to make.
We break the cauliflower down into tiny florets, but another option is to use a food processor and make a chunky cauliflower rice. Take a look at our cauliflower rice recipe to see how we do it.
1 medium head cauliflower, about 1 3/4 to 2 pounds (6 to 7 cups small florets)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional for some heat
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or use 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas)
1/2 cup fine fresh herbs like parlsey, dill, or mint, chopped
1/2 cup pickled red onions, chopped, optional, see our pickled onions recipe
Cut away leaves and the core from the cauliflower. Then cut or pull the cauliflower apart into little florets and add to a large bowl. Chop longer stems into small pieces, and then add to the bowl with florets.
Season with 1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, and then toss the cauliflower around the bowl until all the florets have had a chance to be seasoned.
To make the dressing, whisk the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt together until creamy and emulsified.
Add the chickpeas, herbs, pickled onions, and the dressing to the cauliflower. Toss until everything is evenly coated. Taste, and then season with additional salt, pepper or lemon juice.
The cauliflower salad does taste best when given some time to marinate. When possible, let the salad marinate, stirring from time to time, for at least 30 minutes before serving. The salad will keep, covered in the refrigerator, up to one week.