Grilled Cauliflower Salad with Smashed Feta Vinaigrette.
We love this grilled cauliflower salad! Made with baby arugula, grilled corn and toasty cauliflower, it’s drizzled in a smashed feta vinaigrette and topped with chopped pistachios. There is lots of flavor, texture and it’s super satisfying too!
Grilled vegetable salads are where it’s at this summer!
This toasty grilled cauliflower salad is served over spicy arugula, filled with grilled corn and my favorite feta dressing ever. It’s crunchy and creamy and absolutely wonderful!
I love grilling cauliflower. Much like roasting it, grilling the cauliflower makes it golden and toasty and really imparts it with so much smoky flavor. I’ve always said that roasted cauliflower almost tastes like popcorn, in a way – and this version is even better. Every bit can become charred and toasty.
You will love it too!
This is how it all comes together:
I grill the cauliflower first. It takes longer than, say, peppers and onions since it’s a fibrous veggie. I use my favorite grill pan (it’s truly the best) and let it go for 5 to 10 minutes at a time, then toss it well. After about 15 to 20 minutes, it will be done.
While the cauliflower is on the grill, I also add a few ears of corn! This can be one ear or four ears, depending on how corn-heavy you want the salad to be. I lay my corn directly on the grill and let it char for a few minutes.
Then the rest of the bowl is super simple. I season arugula with lots of salt and pepper. I slice the corn from the cob and throw that and the cauliflower in with the arugula.
Then comes the dressing. Drizzle it all over because it’s the KEY for this salad. It’s what makes this, well, a SALAD. Best dressing ever.
After that, a nice little shower of chopped pistachios for extra crunch. I can never have enough crunch, we know this.
The combo is a bowl of peppery arugula with sweet (corn!) and savory (cauli! dressing!) flavors and the perfect bite. Cannot get enough of this.
The smashed feta vinaigrette is nothing new. But it’s FABULOUS!!
I first shared this recipe with my grilled vegetable orzo salad. Another big favorite around here.
This dressing is something else. It’s a vinaigrette, but since we shake and whisk the feta into it, it gets a slightly creamy consistency as the cheese breaks down. The whole mixture also marinates the feta, making it even more delicious. There is lemon, lots of fresh herbs, that tangy, creamy cheese – ah! Really couldn’t ask for anything more in a delicious vinaigrette.
I love this dressing because it also acts as the cheese in the salad. It’s just EASY. And it will last in the fridge for a few days too, getting even better as it sits. This is not one that you want to pass up!
So this whole bowl/salad situation is one of the best weeknight meals you can make for yourself. There is so much texture and crunch and it’s very satisfying. Plus – making it on the grill equals minimal clean up!
Um, hello, that is my favorite part.
As usual, this can be a salad for your dinner. It can also be a side dish or a starter salad! And of course, another base to add some grilled cheese or steak. Or you can also add in roasted chickpeas, which is my personal favorite for this dish.
So darn good.
Grilled Cauliflower Salad
Grilled Cauliflower Salad
- Preheat the grill to high.
- Place the cauliflower florets in a bowl and toss them with the olive oil, garlic powder and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Toss until all the florets are covered then transfer to a grill pan.
- Place the pan directly on the grill and grill for 15 to 20 minutes, tossing the cauliflower every 5 minutes. You may need to grill slightly less or more based on the size of your florets. Make sure they are golden, toasty and tender!
- Place the ears of corn directly on the grill too. Just like the cauliflower, turn it every 4 to 5 minutes, until the corn is charred and golden.
- While grilling, place the arugula in a large bowl. Toss with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Make the vinaigrette too.
- When the cauliflower and corn is finished, let it cool slightly. Slice the corn off the cob. Add the corn and cauliflower to the arugula and toss. Drizzle with the dressing all over - as much as you wish, but I start with 3 to 4 tablespoons and go from there, tossing the salad as I go.
- Sprinkle with the pistachios. Season with more salt and pepper if needed, then serve!
smashed feta vinaigrette
- In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, pepper, herbs and feta. Use a spoon or whisk to smash some of the feta into the mixture. Whisk the olive oil into the dressing until combined. You can make this ahead of time and store it in the fridge. It will separate but whisking or shaking will bring it back together.