I love cauliflower. It is such a great low-calorie, nutritious alternative for rice, or even mashed potatoes. Cauliflower ‘rice’ can be served raw or steamed or, in the case of this salad, cooked in a dry pan. Cooking the ‘rice’ in a pan gives it a crunchy texture. I made this salad for myself for lunch on the weekend. You can easily double the ingredients to make 4 small servings or 2 large servings. The tomatoes were a nice addition. I added some toasted coconut to the pesto for a sweeter taste, but this is not necessary. This salad is very versatile. Try it with steamed broccoli and some feta or halloumi cheese instead of the tomatoes and peas.
Pesto cauliflower ‘rice’ salad for one with roasted balsamic tomatoes
1 cup cauliflower, broken into florets
1 clove garlic, fresh or roasted
Handful of fresh basil
¼ cup walnuts
2 tablespoons coconut, toasted
Salt, to taste
Drizzle of olive oil
Juice of 1 wedge of lemon
½ cup frozen peas, thawed
Roasted balsamic tomatoes
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
Salt and pepper
- First make the roasted balsamic tomatoes by lining a baking tray with baking paper. Lay the tomato wedges on the paper and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Cook in the oven at 180C for approximately 20 minutes or until tomatoes are completely soft.
- Place the cauliflower into a food processor. Process until the cauliflower resembles the texture of rice.
- Add the cauliflower ‘rice’ to a dry non-stick frying pan. Cook the cauliflower in the pan, stirring often, until it is lightly crunchy and golden brown. You may need to add a splash of water to prevent sticking.
- Pour the cauliflower rice into a bowl.
- Add the garlic, basil, walnuts, coconut, salt and oil to the food processor (no need to wash it after the cauliflower).
- Process until a paste is formed. Add the peas to the cauliflower ‘rice’ and mix the pesto through.
- Add the roasted tomatoes on top and season with salt and pepper.
Other additions to this salad could include:
1 cup baby spinach
1 cup lightly steamed broccoli
50g feta cheese
50g grilled/pan fried halloumi cheese
1/2 an avocado, sliced