Bejeweled Sesame Cauliflower Salad

Bejeweled Sesame Cauliflower Salad

Cooking for a big family dinner is always daunting. We need to come up with dishes that would please everyone, make sure there is enough delicious meat to satisfy them carnivores, while ensuring the vegetarians are fed, and royally so. We are well too aware of the challenges of dressing up a salad so that it isn’t just a pile of colourful leaves on a plate, and so much more than a side dish to meat.

This salad fits the bill. First impression counts on the dinner table as our eyes feed long before our stomachs do, and the Bejeweled impresses. The bright green of the lettuce leaves and the ruby red sparkle of the pomegranate seeds show off the golden roasted florets of cauliflower. And it matches in taste as well. The meaty cauliflower, elevated with a coating of sesame paste, would satisfy anyone, vegetarian or no.

Oh, and it’s perfect for sharing… just double, or triple the ingredients based on the size of your family, and enjoy!


  • 1/2 cup toasted white sesame seeds
  • Up to 9 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/2 medium cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 large butterhead lettuce, leaves separated & rough chopped
  • Seeds from one pomegranate
  • 1 tbsp toasted black sesame seed
  • Pepper
  • Salt


  1. In a food processor, blend the white sesame seeds until it forms a paste.
  2. Add 1/2 tsp salt, dash of pepper, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp honey and 1 tsp lemon juice and continue to process. Keep adding oil, a tablespoon at a time until the paste reaches a smoother consistency. When done, check seasoning, and adjust where necessary.
  3. Using half the paste, coat the cauliflower florets. Preheat the airfryer at 190°C, and roast the cauliflower for about 10 minutes, basting the florets every now and again, reserving at least 3 tbsp of the paste [You can always roast the florets in the oven if you don't have an airfryer].
  4. Meanwhile, place the remaining paste in a food processor. Together with 1 tbsp of lemon juice, 1 tsp honey, 3 tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper, blend the mixture until emulsified. It should form a delicious dressing.
  5. When serving, lightly dress the lettuce in the dressing and lay the leaves on the bottom of the salad bowl. Similarly dress the roasted cauliflower, and pile on top of the leaves.
  6. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds and black sesame seed over the salad and serve warm.

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