In The Raw: Three Colour Cauliflower Salad

August 28, 2012 Published by Dina

Sometimes vegetables are so nice and tender that they really do not require any cooking at all. In the summer I like making a few dishes that can be enjoyed in the raw (I mean the veggies, relax), just tossed with a dressing or offered with a dip. Cauliflower, when fresh and tender, is one of those vegetables. The markets have been featuring small heads of coloured cauliflower in orange, purple and white and I have been incorporating them into our summer food all season. Here is a simple recipe to prepare and serve as a salad alongside other foods, take on a picnic or a boat ride or serve on its own as a refreshing crisp snack on the patio. For the dressing I use sun dried tomato pesto that I buy from one of the specialty stores and then just add a little olive oil and vinegar to thin it out to a dressing consistency. You can add other crisp vegetables to this and I sometimes do (tender inner celery stalks, just picked carrots, broccoli florets, even shredded cabbage etc.). Now, if you do not like raw vegetables you can blanch the vegetables in boiling water to take out the rawness but not cook them completely. That’s just fine as well. To blanch, bring a pot of water to a boil, when boiling, drop the vegetables in for a quick dip, then remove and drain. It just takes the crispness out without fully cooking them. Colours are also enhanced by this process.


1 small head purple cauliflower

1 small head orange cauliflower

1 small head white cauliflower

1/3 cup parsley, chopped

A handful chives, chopped

Salt and pepper if needed

Sun dried tomato pesto dressing:

2 tablespoon sun dried tomato pesto, purchased

3 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar


Separate the three cauliflowers into small florets and place in a bowl.

Combine the pesto with the olive oil and vinegar in a small bowl and mix to create a dressing consistency.

Pour dressing over the cauliflower and mix to coat the florets with the dressing.

Add parsley and some of the chives and mix them in.

Spoon into a serving plate, garnish with the remaining chives and serve.

Three colour cauliflower salad
Three coloured cauliflower salad
Three coloured cauliflower


  • Marit Aldrich says:

    I found the colorful cauliflower at a market here in Bellingham. Am making it today. Yum!

  • ah says:

    such a pretty dish… now where would I find this in Toronto? Wholefoods? I am going to the market tomorrow to buy my weekly groceries. Next time you are here you should come on the weekend so you can check it out.

    • Dina says:

      Hi Alex, you are more likely to find this in a farmers market. I love the market near your place, can’t wait to come and do some cooking together.