Chili Roasted Cauliflower, Kale & Herb Salad with Pistachio

Chili Roasted Cauliflower, Kale, Quinoa, Mint, Cilantro and Pistachio Salad

As I rolled up the blinds this morning I was welcomed by glaring headlights of cars inching along the Brooklyn Queens Expressway against a black sky. Not a hint of sun to illuminate a shade closer to dark grey, which would at least give me the sign of daylight approaching…I guess its official, summer is drawing to a close.

The summer has been full of travel and adventure and my time spent doing anything in the kitchen has been kept to the bare minimum. It’s nice to be back in the city a little more and I’m excited to get inspired to start preparing delicious food again!

Time away from cooking has made me more fickle than usual and I’m interested in meals that involve ingredients and preparation that can be modified and changed at will. I do not have the attention span right now for recipes that require any level of exactness… Hence this salad.

It’s one of my favorite versions of what I see in the grocery store and mix up with what I have at home. I have done a few different iterations of this and am particularly pleased with this combination. It’s a perfect change of season dish. Comforting on it’s own or as a side to grilled or roasted meat for when I crave something more substantial. Its bright, citrus tang also tastes delicious with seafood.

Ingredients (About 4 servings)

  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped into small chunks
  • 1 bunch kale, stalks removed and shredded
  • 1 cup Quinoa cooked in vegetable stock according to directions
  • I handful dry roasted pistachio meats
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Fresh Cilantro leaves
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh or dried chili flakes to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Citrus Vinaigrette

Vinaigrette inspired by Bon Appetit. I made my version more citrus heavy and with less oil.

  • 1/2 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Shake ingredients vigorously in a well sealed container to emulsify.


Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the chopped cauliflower in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Add chili, salt and pepper to taste and toss. Place on a lined baking sheet and roast until florets are beginning to brown. While cauliflower is cooking prepare quinoa according to directions. Drain and set aside.

Add shredded kale into a shallow serving bowl and drizzle over a little dressing. Massage well. Add cauliflower, quinoa and chopped herbs. Toss with a light drizzle of freshly shaken vinaigrette and season with extra pepper. Finish by sprinkling over pistachios before serving.


Ottolenghi’s Chermoula Baked Eggplant

Ottolenghi baked eggplant dish

I’m a little late to the party discovering the wonderful world of vegetables with Yotam Ottolenghi, a UK based chef. His recipes are inventive, delicious and will satisfy even the most skeptical non-vegetarian eaters.

This chermoula baked eggplant packs a seriously delicious flavor punch. The brightness of the mint and cilantro and citrus tang is balanced by the creamy yoghurt. So easy to prepare and one of my favorite meals so far this year.

I substituted brown rice couscous to make the dish gluten free. Quinoa or buckwheat kernels would also taste great.

Get the recipe featured on the NY Times here.