The Perfect Fall Salad: Roasted Cauliflower with Honey Tahini Dressing

Food for Grownups
cauliflower salad, fall salad

While I’m not jumping head first into a pumpkin spice latte (there’s a time and a place for that, Fierce friends, and, in my humble opinion, it happens on the first official day of fall), I’ve noticed that the flavors of summer are definitely phasing out. The offerings at the Farmer’s Market are already shifting. The merchandising displays at the grocery store have morphed into shameless autumnal extravaganzas.

With summer coming to a close, I’m thankful that I enjoyed a lion’s share of fresh tomato sauce, summer salads like this cherry tomato couscous number or my summer’s bounty quinoa salad or my farmer’s market carrot salad. I really got the most out of summer.

And I’m also looking forward to the impending butternut squash, cozy sweaters, crisp mornings, juicy apples, hot soups, and even the humble chicken stews.

But that’s a few weeks off yet. Right now, we are in that weird transitional season just before full-blown pumpkin everything. When I made this cauliflower salad the other day, I realized that it’s a great salad year round. You can easily substitute different herbs based on what’s at the store and cauliflower is a year long delight. The roasted and caramelized cauliflower brings a hint of autumn and spice while the lemon and herbs keeps it just a little bit summery.

Why I Love Cauliflower Salads

Let’s talk about how much I love cauliflower. There’s something about this cruciferous vegetable that is just so satisfying. When the right spices are applied, it is just as filling as a big, meat-filled dinner. It’s one of those stick to your ribs vegetables, and when I am trying to watch what I eat and enjoy more veggies, it’s my go to.

What’s more, this type of veggie – along with things like Brussel sprouts and broccoli – are proven to reduce our risk of cancer when we have several servings each week, according to Web MD. 

That’s all of the endorsement I need to eat something delicious multiple times a week. No problem.

But how do you turn a head of cauliflower into a meal? You put it on a salad, as yours truly will show you below. Or you throw it in some tacos like the Modern Proper, or even a burrito rice bowl like Pinch of Yum. Brilliant!

Last winter, I adored these Cauliflower and Avocado Shawarma Wraps.  My recipe for this cauliflower salad borrows several of the flavors of the wraps and puts them in a beautiful, flavorful salad.

If the slightly spicy cauliflower and chickpeas weren’t enough already, the  fresh herbs give this salad a little more personality. The sweet and tangy homemade tahini and honey dressing just make the whole thing break into an Hallelujah chorus of joyous flavor.

Plus, the savory aromas that will fill your house will really make you look like you know what you are doing.  It’s a dish that’s sure to impress family and friends. And why not? Preparing a fall salad that’s this hearty, healthy, and delicious is a pretty impressive feat.

Here’s my favorite fall salad, just for you, Fierce friend! Enjoy!



fall salad, cauliflower salad

The Perfect Fall Salad: Cauliflower, Chickpea with Honey Tahini Dressing

  • Author: Marie Bostwick
  • Prep Time: 25
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 2 main course salads or 4 starter salads 1x


If the slightly spicy cauliflower and chickpeas weren’t enough already, the fresh herbs give this salad a little more personality. The sweet and tangy homemade tahini and honey dressing just make the whole thing break into an Hallelujah chorus of joyous flavor.



1 large head of cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (I use California Olive Ranch!)

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 clove garlic, minced

kosher salt and black pepper (I used a pinch of Smoked Maldon Sea Salt Flakes here for a little extra savory note!)

5 cups Organic Girl Protein greens or crisp greens of your choice

2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced on the diagonal

juice of half a lemon

1/4 cup fresh herbs (whatever you have left in your garden – basil, dill, parsley, all would be delicious)

2 tablespoons fresh chopped chives

4 oz goat cheese, crumbled

2 avocados, sliced

Honey Tahini Vinaigrette

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 TBS honey

2 TBS dijon mustard

2 TBS tahini

2 TBS apple cider vinegar

juice of 1 lemon

kosher salt

fall salad, cauliflower salad, vegetarian salad


Preheat oven to 425.

On a baking sheet, toss the cauliflower, chickpeas, oil, chili powder, paprika, garlic, and a salt and pepper. Toss well.

Roast for 25 minutes, or until the cauliflower starts to pick up a little golden-brown color.  Once it comes out of the oven, squeeze the lemon all over it and toss. This needs to cool slightly so it doesn’t wilt the rest of the salad.

fall salad, cauliflower salad

To make the vinaigrette, combine all ingredients in a mason jar and shake shake shake! Add salt and pepper to taste.

honey tahini vinaigrette, homemade salad dressing, fall salad

In a large pretty serving bowl, combine the greens of your choice, cucumber slices, and fresh herbs. Add the roasted cauliflower and chickpeas in with the salad. Add the avocado and goat cheese right on top.

fall salad, cauliflower salad

Drizzle on the vinaigrette, toss, and serve.

fall salad, cauliflower salad

  • Category: salad
  • Method: roasted

Keywords: cauliflower, fall salads, honey tahini dressing, vegetarian, meatless Monday, easy weeknight dinner

Need more fall flavor inspiration beyond this fall salad? Try my sweet potato gnocchistuffed delicate squash boatsbroccoli cheddar chicken soup, and my roasted butternut squash salad!

cauliflower salad, fall salad


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