Roasted Cauliflower, Spinach, & Orzo Salad

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This salad is freaking fantastic. Modified slightly from Cravings. To make this vegan, eliminate the feta (I think it’s just as delicious).

Time: 45 minutes

Type: Technically a side, but you could easily make this the entree of your meal. Sean and I often eat it with some grilled shrimp on the side and it’s perfect.

Ingredients:

  • For the Cauliflower Orzo
    • 1 small head cauliflower, broken into small florets (about 5 cups)
    • 4 Tbsp olive oil
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 1 tsp kosher salt
    • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
    • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • For the Dressing and Salad
    • 3 Tbsp olive oil
    • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
    • 1 tsp honey
    • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
    • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
    • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
    • 2/3 – 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
    • 2/3 cup dried cherries
    • 4 cups baby spinach
    • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion (optional)

Directions:

  • Prepare the Cauliflower & Orzo
    1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
    2. In a bowl, toss cauliflower with 3 Tbsp olive oil, the garlic, salt, and pepper. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until softened and the edges are charred, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool and set aside.
    3. Meanwhile, in a pot of salted boiling water, cook the orzo according to the package directions, but for 1-2 minutes less than called for (so it’s just a little underdone). Drain in a colander, rinse under cold water, drain well, and toss with the remaining 1 Tbsp oil right in the colander.
  • Make the Dressing and Toss the Salad
    1. In a big bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, mustard, salt and pepper.
    2. Add the cooked orzo, roasted cauliflower, onion, feta, and cherries and toss until coated with the dressing (I would only add about 2/3 of the dressing initially, as I feel like the original recipe is a little too much. Add more later if preferred).
    3. Throw the spinach on top and toss one more time. Taste, and add more salt if you’d like.

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