Cauliflower and toasted pine nut salad

Cauliflower and toasted pine nut salad

This recipe is from the The Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland.

Cauliflower gets a bright makeover here with zesty lemon juice and toasted pine nuts. It’s a crunchy salad that is chock-full of vitamin C, and cauliflower is part of the cancer-fighting cruciferous family. It's deliciously simple and you can substitute purple or orange cauliflower or even romanesco.

Servings: 8


  • 1 large head cauliflower (about 4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice and zest of one lemon


  1. Remove green leaves from cauliflower, cut stem end off, rinse and place whole head into steam basket in medium sauce pan. 
  2. Steam cauliflower for 6 to 8 minutes until fork tender. Carefully remove cauliflower, rinse in cold water and drain — or, if you wish, put in an ice bath and then drain in colander. 
  3. Once cool enough to handle, cut cauliflower into bite-size florets and place in large serving bowl. 
  4. While cauliflower is steaming, toast pine nuts for 5 minutes in a small skillet over medium heat, tossing occasionally. Be careful as they tend to burn quickly. 
  5. Rinse lemon and dry. Zest the lemon with a grater or microplane, making sure only to zest the yellow part of the peel (the white part can be bitter). Then cut and juice the lemon, removing any seeds. 
  6. Assemble the salad: Drizzle olive oil, lemon juice and zest over the cauliflower, then toss until combined. Top with toasted pine nuts and keep at room temperature and serve.

Nutrition information (per serving)

  • Serving size: 1/2 cup
  • Calories: 60
  • Total fat: 5 g
  • Saturated fat: 0.5
  • Sodium: 10 g
  • Total carbohydrate: 4 g
  • Dietary fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 2 g