Cauliflower Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

by Gena on June 5, 2009


People spend a lot of time asking me, “you eat [insert name of vegetable here] raw?!” And I spend a lot of time responding, “yes!” Truth is, I prefer most veggies raw—even beets and collards and other fibrous ones. I actually hate cooked spinach—for whatever reason, it gives me the heebie jeebies.

I will admit, though, that not all raw vegetables are my friend. And foremost among the list of “must heat to eat” veggies is broccoli; I can eat it raw if I marinate it for a long time, but on the whole, I truly prefer it gently steamed (which is cool, since some of the nutrients in broccoli are actually released by cooking).

Cauliflower, however, is another story. I LOVE raw cauliflower, and I eat it often (in fact, I hope this will be the first of many spins on raw cauliflower that I share with you guys). I enjoy marinating it, grinding it with nuts for my version of raw “mashed potatoes,” and most of all, I enjoy making this simple cauliflower salad. All it demands is some time spent chopping, which is minimal with the help of a food processor. This salad is light, versatile, and easily modified or added to. Best of all, it’s full of Vitamins C, K, folate and fiber. Give it a shot, and enjoy!

Cauliflower Salad with Orange Vinaigrette (serves 2)


For the salad:

2 cups cauliflower, raw (you can steam gently if you like)
1 stalk shaved or chopped asparagus
2 small carrots, shaved, chopped, or julienned
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
3 tbsp golden raisins

For the dressing:

3 tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
¼ tsp sea salt
Pepper to taste

To make the salad, simply pulse the cauliflower in a food processor till it reaches a chopped, yet well defined consistency (you can also do this by hand—it’ll just take longer!). Toss with the other ingredients and set aside

To make the dressing, simply whisk all ingredients together. Pour about 1/3 of a cup of this over the salad, toss, and enjoy! (You can use more or less dressing if you wish, but I always have some leftover for a green salad to go alongside).

It’s been a long and busy week, guys! I’m really glad that the soy article provoked some interested. Stay tuned for a fun weekend: I’ll have a guest post up on the blogosphere tomorrow (I’ll post a link midday when it’s published) and some fun restaurant food porn, since it’s my birthday on Sunday. Here’s hoping for sunshine!


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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

Katherine June 5, 2009 at 10:35 am

That looks so fresh and simple, but I would never think to make it on my own – thanks, as always, for the inspiration!

I hope you have a WONDERFUL birthday!


Maria June 5, 2009 at 10:38 am

Hi Gena! I don’t know if you remember me from our short email conversation a while ago, but I finally created a blog! I’ve been inspired by you to add some raw foods here and there throughout my day. I should start participating in the Raw Wednesday Challenge.

I love beets raw too. I grate it into salads and it adds great flavor and sweetness. Good to know that broccoli is more nutritious steamed. I like it raw, but prefer it cooked. That recipe looks like another must try on my list :D


Gena June 5, 2009 at 4:57 pm

Hey Maria —

Congrats on the blog! I’m going to check it out in a moment. And definitely do go with the raw weds — I’m encouraging all readers to keep it up :)



Stacy June 5, 2009 at 11:14 am

that sounds great! I love cauliflower, I’ll definitely have to give this a try!


Nicole June 5, 2009 at 11:28 am

Raw cauliflower is my FAVORITE! For some reason, I cannot choke down cooked spinach either, I prefer it raw any day!

I made the cucumber rolls (the ones you posted on Jenna’s blog a while ago) today, and they were delicious!!


Gena June 5, 2009 at 4:53 pm

So glad, Ms. Nicole! And love your blog :)


Diana (Soap & Chocolate) June 5, 2009 at 11:34 am

Woo hoo for upcoming birthday! This recipe looks great. I know I don’t like broccoli raw, so I will continue cooking that, but I don’t even know if I’ve ever had raw cauliflower! I love the nutty taste it gets when cooked, so I should probably give it a chance raw. This salad would be a good place to start! Cooked cauliflower can be schtank anyway, both before and after consumption. ;)

Have a great weekend, Gena!


Gena June 5, 2009 at 4:54 pm

D —

I find it totally neutral tasting and perfectly lovely! The cooked version is waaaay more strong, IMO.



lauren June 5, 2009 at 11:43 am

I love cauliflower raw (not so much cooked). There are certain veggies I only like cooked too..spinach being one (haha)..I can eat it raw, but I prefere it cooked! :)

Have a wonderful bday!


earthmother June 5, 2009 at 11:50 am

I made a similar recipe for my first Thanksgiving in the raw. BIG hit, even with all the cooked Hungarians at the table.

I would love your “mashed potatoes” recipe. hint*hint :D


Gena June 5, 2009 at 4:55 pm

Just realized you’re a fellow gemini! Happy birthday, Earthmom :)


Katharina June 5, 2009 at 12:12 pm

I have all of these ingredients!!! YES!

I’m going to have to steam the cauliflower though because eating it raw makes me gassy. So does red cabbage :\ Which sucks because I love slaws. Funny how slaw is such an unappetizing word.


Gena June 5, 2009 at 4:55 pm

Slaw is a TERRIBLE word, I agree.


Michelle @ Find Your Balance June 5, 2009 at 1:20 pm

I think a lot of people feel that way about spinach…too much stringy overcooked frozen or canned stuff as a kid will do that :-) Now raw cauliflower though…that i don’t think I’ve tried!


Aisha June 5, 2009 at 2:34 pm

I also absolutely hate cooked spinach, it just tastes so weird and looks wrong, wilted and cooked leaves always look strange.
The salad looks yum, I’ve never tried cauliflower raw before, I can’t wait to try it now.


Shelby June 5, 2009 at 3:34 pm

This recipe looks delicious!

I don’t know how I feel about raw cauliflower though…


Gena June 5, 2009 at 4:56 pm

Then go ahead and steam it! Should be just as tasty. Just don’t OVER-steam it: then it’ll be a mushy salad :-(


Metta June 5, 2009 at 4:36 pm

Oohh, a fellow Gemini – have a great birthday weekend!

This looks great and the flavors look very refreshing; I hope to make it soon.



sue June 5, 2009 at 4:52 pm

i have the same preference for slightly steamed broccoli and raw cauliflower, but i loved cooked spinach :) your salad sounds delicious- the addition of the golden raisins sounds yummy!


Gena June 5, 2009 at 4:56 pm

So glad you like it, Sue!


elise June 5, 2009 at 5:22 pm

i feel the same way about broccoli…my stomach doesnt do well with it, and i think its sooo much better steamed. maybe im a freak, but it also makes me burp (a lot) when eaten raw. sadly, i can recall MANY a pool party or holiday party when i was younger in which veggie trays had some of the only items i could eat…now my fam and friends have explanded their paletes. im not going to take all the credit, but its a nice change :)


melissa June 5, 2009 at 7:14 pm

happy almost bday, can’t wait to celebrate!

I love c-flower and I think raisins are most delicious when plumped up from marinating, so this is a must try!


Gena June 6, 2009 at 6:34 am

I could not agree more about raisins!!


Undennainsity June 5, 2009 at 8:03 pm

Hi, Congratulations to the site owner for this marvelous work you’ve done. It has lots of useful and interesting data.


Katrina (gluten free gidget) June 5, 2009 at 8:06 pm

Happy early Birthday!!!!
I’m with you on the raw cauliflower. A-MAZING!


Gena June 6, 2009 at 6:35 am

Thanks so much, Katrina!!


Casey June 6, 2009 at 4:09 am

Oh man, I LOVE raw cauliflower. Used to eat it dipped into hummus, now I do salsa and it’s delish!


Case x


Gena June 6, 2009 at 6:35 am

You are the best, Casey — thank you :)


Katharina June 6, 2009 at 4:13 pm

Hey Gena! So I stumbled upon this and thought you might like this recipe. I gave it to Courtney (Hungry Yogini) too since she has a dehydrator.


Katharina June 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm

p.s. Happy early birthday!!!!!! :) You better own tomorrow ;)


Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) June 6, 2009 at 5:55 pm

This sounds delicious. I swear, I just need to start a whole Gena cookbook as I have so many of your recipes bookmarked.

Oh, and I totally agree with you on broccoli. I can eat my weight in steamed broccoli, but I DO NOT like it raw. Blech!

Have a wonderful birthday!!!!


Kim June 6, 2009 at 6:42 pm

I felt really bad for falling off the wagon today. There wasn’t much option on the menu today, so I chose grilled shrimp and it’s funny that haven’t had seafood for 2 weeks, I don’t crave meat (aside from dairy) anymore. I wanted to stick to a vegetarian diet, but I also wasn’t in the mood for a vegetarian rice dish. It’s still quite difficult for me to dine out whether it’s a raw or vegetarian diet.

How do you substitute dairy? I’m still haven’t a difficult time weaning off it since I like it in my cereal.


Gena June 6, 2009 at 8:02 pm

Hey K,

Try really hard not to feel so bad! Look at it this way: would you feel GOOD about one single day of healthy eats if you ate like crap the rest of the time? No, probably not. One UNheatly day amidst so many healthy days will not derail you!

I don’t miss dairy at all, as long as I can make nut “cheese” once in a while. I never liked cereal and use almond milk when I need anything milk like! You can find the Pacific or Blue Diamond brands most everywhere…



ashley (sweet & natural) June 6, 2009 at 6:48 pm

Happy early birthday!!! Hope you have an awesome awesome day. :-)


Gena June 6, 2009 at 8:03 pm

Thanks Ash!


Hangry Pants June 6, 2009 at 11:07 pm

Ya know what, I really prefer most vegies raw! Even when I was little I would eat all the raw veggies at birthday parties & stuff. But unlike you I like raw broccoli!

Hey and have an amazing birthday!!!!


Emily June 7, 2009 at 3:33 pm

Maybe this will be the second way I can learn to enjoy the humble cauliflower :)


The Healthy Apple June 8, 2009 at 11:48 am


This looks amazing; I’m trying this out tonight.
Thanks darling..



Leanne November 24, 2009 at 4:32 pm

Hi Gena! I found your blog and wanted to share a recipe I had that was similar to yours. I had it at a restaurant and loved it. It had raw cauliflower, pomegranate seeds, chopped almonds and oranges. It was in an orange basil vinegrette and was wonderful. I loved the crunch from the nuts and the seeds. It is going to be served at my house on Thansgiving b/c I loved it so much. Hope you like it!



Tanya February 22, 2010 at 11:03 am

I just made this for lunch and it’s delicious!! What a great salad for a summery day, which it is here….69 degrees and sunny :) Will be blogging about it later.


marys April 26, 2010 at 9:25 pm

I made this today, it was so good!Thank you, Gina, for another great recipe.


Fusami September 5, 2010 at 9:16 pm

That looks good! Are raisins (unsulphured) raw? (Also, are frozen fruits raw?) Thanks!


mimi December 21, 2010 at 5:34 am is very delicious.Thank you for your sharing.


holyfood April 22, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Orange-Mint Salad—

This salad was inspired by one of my kids commenting that “oranges are so every day.” My mom remembers when oranges were a treat. I love oranges, so I wanted to make something a little different. I’m also enjoying using our abundant spearmint while it is still fresh from the garden.

Thinly slice several spearmint leaves, to taste.

Mix in some brown sugar, to taste. I used a bit too much for our tastes, about ½ T.

Peel and chunk oranges. I used two California navels. You can see the effect of the brown sugar in the difference.

This was sweet and tangy and not too juicy. My kids thought it was “ok.”

for more information


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