Black Pepper Cauliflower Salad Recipe

A friday lunch favorite - cauliflower florets doused in a warm black pepper and red onion vinaigrette, and tossed with nuts, apples, olives, and a bit of feta.

Black Pepper Cauliflower Salad

Fridays have unofficially become guest lunch days around here. It wasn't something planned, Fridays just seem to be the day people swing by with deliveries for the shop, or the day everyone has a bit of extra time. Adele came by last, and Dave from Jacob May before that. I like it. We'll often break out a bit of wine, pull a few things together (along with whatever leftovers from the week are in the refrigerator), chat, throw ideas around, and generally enjoy each other's company. Today's black pepper cauliflower is one of the things that has landed on the table in various guises over the past couple of months. The florets are doused in a warm black pepper and red onion vinaigrette, and tossed with nuts, apples, olives, and a bit of feta. The version with broccoli was also popular (simply swap out the cauliflower for broccoli)...

Black Pepper CauliflowerBlack Pepper CauliflowerBlack Pepper Cauliflower

As far as how one of the spreads comes together, we'll often have a big pot of soup, a couple of salads (like this), and someone typically throws a few eggs in a skillet to poach and top the soup.

Black Pepper Cauliflower

We typically have them friday lunches here at the house, but(!) that might change soon. After a long search, we finally found a new home for QUITOKEETO. It's a little rough around the edges, and is going to take some time to clean up - but new floors are en route, paint swatches are being debated, bars are hopefully coming off the windows, and the fluorescent lights will politely be escorted out. I promise more details as this unfolds in the coming weeks. The light in the space is beautiful and soft, the ceilings high. It was a painter's studio for many years, and after spending some time in it, I understand why. More soon. xo -h

Black Pepper Cauliflower

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Black Pepper Cauliflower Salad

*To keep your apples from browning after slicing, place them in a bowl of water with a big squeeze of lemon juice until ready to use.

2 pound head of cauliflower, cut into tiny florets
3/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 tablespoon black peppercorns, crushed
1 cup toasted pistachios, roughly chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
3 apples, diced*
1/3 cup chopped black olives

Bring a pot of water to a boil, salt well and cook the cauliflower for a minute, until just tender. Drain, run under cold water to stop cooking, drain well, and set aside.

Combine the red onion, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and black pepper in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the onions have turned pink and infused the oil and vinegar mixture, remove from heat and set aside.

When ready to serve, place cauliflower florets into a large bowl. Add the pistachios, feta, apples, olives, and 2/3 of the red onion vinaigrette. Toss everything together gently and give it a taste--depending on the saltiness of your feta, you might wish to add a little more salt. You might want to add the remaining vinaigrette as well.

Serves 6.

Prep time: 10 minutes - Cook time: 10 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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I will make this tonight! What is this opaque rectangular dish that salad is photographed in? I love it's simplicity. Can i find it somewhere? Thank You.


Sounds really good but for those of us who are unimaginative and should not be eating cheese - What would you suggest to replace the feta - just a bit more salt for that 'note', or ____ ?


how exciting! It looks gorgeous, Heidi. Congrats on finding a space that feels right, I know it's not easy. I'm certain you guys will make it gorgeous. Hip hip.

sara forte

I do believe this is exactly what I need to make tonight for dinner. Perhaps accompanied by a roasted chicken. The QK space is just beautiful. Perfect light. The possibilities seem endless. Perhaps and space to host large communal dinners that are photographed for your next book? :)

Dina Avila

Congrats on the new studio!


cliffhanger! real life shop? i'm swooning...


A BIG Congratulations on the QUITOKEETO space!! I love my knives, jars of honey & the lovely linen covers I have received, all in beautiful packages, from your shop. The Jacob May serving board continues to speak to me every time I see it…

Kristin | The Dinner Concierge

I love it. Every time I think cauliflower salad I see ham or bacon. I like this much lighter approach, so much more in-tune with the spirit of spring!

Angel Reyes

That new space is lovely. I could live there!


Perfect salad addition for upcoming Board meeting, outdoor concerts, and tenting trip to Grand Canyon. It's different, quick, and EASY!! Can't wait to make it!! THANKS forever!!


This salad looks amazing! I'm tempted to try it out roasting the cauliflower (or broccoli) instead of boiling it. Love the Mediterranean inspired vinaigrette!

Rasa @ The Vixen Life

I need to make this...all of those ingredients sound incredible, but I would never think of putting them all together...and that's why I love your cooking! Thanks, again....


Oh how fun to have a new space for new inspiration and creativity! Look forward to hearing details as they unfold! And love this idea of your Friday lunches. Lucky diners to have this cauliflower's going on my to-make list. P.S. Made the mung yoga bowl last week and it was delicious! Added chopped avocado to the bowls and some chipotle powder to the warmed olive oil. ;-)

Katie @ Whole Nourishment

I reckon some pomegranate seeds would be a nice crunch, too PS your new space looks fab...


Excellent. All I knew about dinner tonight is that it involved a head of cauliflower. Thanks for clearing up the rest of the details. Love your new space - gorgeous.

Garlic Pig

This looks like a lovely salad. I love the sound of your impromptu Friday lunches with friends and wine. After this post you may have even more visitors stopping by. ;-)

Maryea {happy healthy mama}

What a great, light space... Congratulations and happy clean-up! Beautiful, really.


This looks fabulous! Cauliflower and broccoli are two of those vegetables that many people don't like, and I used to be one of them. Since then though, I have found that they are actually so full of great flavour, and is so versatile they can be used for lots of dishes! Thanks for the idea :) x

Jules @ WolfItDown

Heidi, your new space looks lovely - does this mean that Quitokeeto will in time become a shop that you can walk into and buy from, or will it just remain an online store?

HS: Hi Kate! There are a good number of possibilities being thrown around right now. The good news is the space is street level, on a lovely stretch of old San I'm optimistic about what might be possible.


Beautiful salad and QUITOKEETO space! Black pepper is one of those underrated spices, I love that you've used such a generous amount here. I'd like to try this with some boiled, quartered red potatoes thrown in too.


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