Lemony Roasted Asparagus and Cauliflower Salad


Roasted Asparagus and Cauliflower Salad

Meal planning has gone out the window of late. You can find me walking through the supermarket like a zombified hungry teenager scavenging for anything that looks and sounds appealing at that moment. If a hungry teenager liked produce more than chips and always wanted ice cream.

Instead of chaotic shopping, I like to think I’m playing a week-long game of Chopped: Tired Mama Edition. Once Lucas gets home from work, I get 30 minutes to put the random ingredients together to make a dish. This lemony roasted asparagus and cauliflower salad comes together with the things you’ll find in my fridge at all times for the past month: asparagus, cauliflower, lemons, pine nuts, and parmesan. Tossed together for a perfect springtime Memorial Day potluck salad.

Roasted Asparagus and Cauliflower Salad

Do you all have plans for the long holiday weekend yet? Yesterday I got an Evite for a Memorial Day BBQ from someone I don’t know (and who doesn’t know me).

Rewind. About a month ago, I looked into joining a new mom support group. Only I couldn’t figure out how much it cost without signing up, so naturally, I signed up. But when I saw the price tag and glanced over at our broken washing machine, I didn’t complete the transaction, emailing the director my apologies.

She never responded and instead I’ve been cc’d on all e-mails from the eight women in the group organizing their various outings and even sharing stories about their kids. It’s only eight people and somehow NO ONE has noticed that there’s this Sarah girl on the email list who they’ve never met. I’ve emailed the director a few more times to apologize and let her know that I’m still on the list, but I continue to get at least five emails a day. (Also, it turns out I’m on the “second time moms” list…so I doubly don’t belong).

Roasted Asparagus and Cauliflower Salad

Now it’s been an awkward amount of time for me to just pipe in with “Oh hey guys, you don’t know me, but I’ve been creeping on your convo like woah. Also, Karen, brunch on Thursday sounds great – I’ll be there!”

Then this party Evite came. One gal is throwing a Memorial Day BBQ for all of her friends and family and she invited me. Now I can’t just blame it on people blindly “replying all” – this woman copied/pasted my e-mail from the list to her Evite…inviting me to HER HOUSE.

So I think proper etiquette is to show up with this roasted asparagus and cauliflower salad…right? I don’t want to be rude.

Roasted Asparagus and Cauliflower Salad

There’s something nutty and magical that happens to cauliflower when it’s roasted. It almost tastes like candy smothered in brown butter (where can I get that?). We threw in asparagus as an earthy springtime note and tossed it all with bright lemon juice and zest and toasty pine nuts. Then smothered the whole thing in parmesan cheese because duh. Served cold with a bit of crunch left in the veggies, this salad is refreshing and one of my favorite ways to eat asparagus (right up there with as salsa on tacos).

PS. Thank you for everyone for your outpouring of comments and emails on my last post about the new mama emotional junk – I feel so supported by you all and am grateful to know I’m in good company.

Lemony Roasted Asparagus and Cauliflower Salad
Yields: 4-6 side servings
  • 1lb cauliflower florets (1.5lb head)
  • ½ lb asparagus spears, ends discarded and spears sliced diagonally into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Juice of half lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
  • Zest of full lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat.
  2. Toss the cauliflower florets and cut asparagus in ½ tablespoon of olive oil. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, tossing halfway through, until the cauliflower begins to brown and soften (but is not mushy!).
  3. Refrigerate until cool, about 15-20 minutes (you can either transfer it to a bowl or if you can fit the whole baking sheet in the fridge, this works faster since it's all spread out!).
  4. Toss the roasted cauliflower & asparagus with remaining ½ tablespoon olive oil, pine nuts, parmesan, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Serve cold or at room temperature.

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  1. This looks divine. I’m so obsessed with this curried cauliflower salad that they make at a local cafe. I must order it at least once a week. I think This one looks right up my ally too! Going to have to make it for lunch soon!

    And oh my gosh, you should totally show up at that BBQ, salad in hand!

  2. Veronica says:

    Oh Miss Sarah you have outdid yourself! First your photos are gorgeous and now I want this salad! I think this Mommies group wants you to attend! Why the fees? We have Mommy groups all around The Woodlands, Texas but they are come and join us no fees! Is this group providing guest speakers because that would make sense! Anyway this salad is perfect all by it’s little self! Love it! Thank you for the recipe!

    • Thanks! I love this salad and it’s so easy! The fees are because it’s organized by a doula – I’m sure I could find or organize one that doesn’t have fees, but haven’t found one yet!

  3. Carla says:

    I feel like they can tell via email osmosis that you’re the very best person to invite to a party. LUCKY THEM.

    (Also, let’s have this tomorrow. I’m coming over.)

  4. I adore cauliflower and I am always looking for ways to use it! Adding this to the rotation!

  5. Yes to roasting veggies and especially cauliflower. This looks so tasty!

  6. What a perfect seasonal salad!

  7. Alanna says:

    Brown butter coated candy? Sign me up!!

  8. Ut-oh, awkward moment indeed! xP Give yourself a HUGE break, my friend, you’re doing great and you’re actually doing better than most people in terms of eating~the fact that you include (some of my favorite type dishes, ahem) veggies and nutritious things when you can at this stage of mothering, that’s a whole feat most people want to accomplish. I’m crazy about lemony veggies and whenever I go to Whole Foods half of my box is filled with those! Too bad those are the heaviest items though. ;)

    • Thank you so much, friend! Some days we get more veggies than others, but I’ve just put a big bag of baby carrots in the fridge for days when making a veggie just isn’t happening!

  9. Sheri says:

    Oh yay, a new way to serve Asparagus and Cauliflower! This is so easy, perfect for a healthy lunch! And I need healthy these days since you’ve been serving me so many desserts when I’m there helping with baby girl! :)

  10. I actually have both asparagus AND cauliflower in the fridge at the moment which really need using, so this is really perfect timing! I love how you dressed it simply with parmesan and lemon too. And if you arrived at their party bearing this salad, there is no way they couldn’t be happy!! :)

  11. Bahaha, too funny! I think this is a sure sign they want you in the group.
    You just put all our favorite things into one simple dish – cannot wait to make this!! I already know Heath is going to love it. xo.

  12. Courtney says:

    What a lovely side dish! I love the lemon in this!

  13. I just stumbled on this post that I obviously missed from last year and am cracking up about this. DID YOU GO TO THE PARTY?? Also, are you still getting emails and can you add me. Not only am I a THIRD time mom but I feel like we could get some legitimately awesome trolling going on here.

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