Roast Cauliflower, Fennel and White Bean Salad with Roast Tomato Salsa

A beautiful and fresh salad of roast cauliflower, fennel and white beans with a roast tomato salsa. Perfect for lunches, picnics or eating alfresco.

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As the sun is finally poking its head out a bit more (anyone else wondering if we were just going to skip Summer this year!?), I’m being a little more hopeful that we are going to have the perfect gloriously sunny Summer days that just calls out for alfresco dining and picnics galore.

I absolutely love these kinds of outings, the fresh air in your hair, the laughter echoing through the trees from other friends and family gatherings close by, the happiness, and of course, all the food.

There is just something incredible about eating while being at one with nature–it calms the soul and makes the food just have an extra layer of flavour and creates the most perfect memories that you can hold on too tightly as the winter months close near.

Which is why I wanted to start a brand-new summery recipe series on my blog so that you can put together your very own perfect picnic provisions, extraordinary eating alfresco accompaniments or just on the move dishes, suitable for hiking, camping or other outdoor activities.

And kicking off this series in true Rebel Recipes style–is my healthy and delicious salad made with Roast Cauliflower, Fennel and White Beans with a Roast Tomato Salsa. Both the cauliflower and fennel, which make up the main bulk of the dish, are completely transformed through slow roasting, which is then combined with an equally incredible roast tomato salsa and delicious protein packed butter beans and chickpeas.

And I can hear you screaming, but what about some crunch?

You’re exactly right… which is why I have topped the salad with toasted sunflower seeds which provide a great texture contrast to the soft beans. The combination of the seeds and beans makes this dish the perfect protein powered salad to keep you going all day and you can easily swap the seeds or beans out for your favourites.

Fennel is such an underrated vegetable that many people are put off using it because they think the flavours are going to be too overpowering. It is known for its aniseed-like flavour, but what people don’t realise is it’s actually very mild, sweet and perfumed and adds an incredible depth to a wide variety of dishes.

Think of fennel like the love child between the humble onion and a big ol’ bunch of celery. It takes all the good parts from both sides and imparts a light spring-like feel that is crunchy and aromatic when sliced thin and eaten raw, but once cooked becomes silky with crisped caramelised and jammy edges making it the perfect partner in crime for the roasted cauliflower which brings a delightful smokey and earthy flavour profile to the dish.

Roasting vegetables is my go-to for bringing out their true flavour. The roasting process deepens and concentrates their flavour; they can become sweeter and reveal hidden profiles such as a nuttiness or candied-taste you might not have experienced before.

Plus, roasting is a super simple technique that is perfect for an effortless mid-week dinner or when you are preparing a feast. Just pop the pan in the oven and let the biochemical reaction do all the magic.

If you are taking this dish to an external occasion and not chowing down straight away, help keep the freshness of the dish by carrying the components separate and combining once you are ready to eat. Keep the salsa in an additional Tupperware container and top and stir through just before serving.

You can serve this dish alongside a plethora of other alfresco style dishes or serve at home with some simple flatbreads (I have a quick step-by-step tutorial on how to make the best effortless flatbreads here) for the ultimate Summer lunch. The flatbreads become the perfect vehicle to scoop up all that delicious flavour in one easy to eat bite.

If you like this recipe, why not give one of my other Summer Picnic Recipes a go?
My Fresh Heirloom Tomato Tart with a Crispy Walnut Base is the perfect centre piece or picnic addition for the pastry lovers.
Why not level up the classic potato salad by swapping the traditional condiment for a zingy homemade tzatziki?
And for dessert nothing screams Summer than my deliciously zesty Elderflower Cupcakes with a tangy Lemon Frosting–I’ll take 3 please!

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Roast Cauliflower, Fennel and White Bean Salad with Roast Tomato Salsa

A beautiful and fresh salad of roast cauliflower, fennel and white beans with a roast tomato salsa. Perfect for lunches, picnics or eating alfresco.
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
2-4 servings
5 from 4 votes

Ingredients

For the roast veg

  • 1 red pepper sliced roughly
  • 1 Fennel bulb sliced into chunky slices
  • 1/4 –1/2 head cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch sea salt

For the roast tomato salsa

  • 300 g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 red onion sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch sea salt

Other salsa ingredients

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 handfuls of coriander leaves
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Chili flakes to taste
  • 1 tsp salt

For the salad

  • 1 can butter beans drained
  • 1 can chickpeas drained
  • 4 tbsp toasted sunflower seeds
  • Extra chilli flakes–optional
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • Coriander

Instructions

To roast the veg

  • Pre heat your oven to 180c
  • Chop the veg and add to a large baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  • Roast for 30-40 minutes until soft and slightly charred. Remove from the oven.

To make the salsa

  • Add the veg for the salsa to another tray and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  • Roast for approx 30 minutes. Set aside to cool a little.
  • Now add to a food processor with the remaining ingredients and blitz briefly until you can a chunky salsa.

To compile

  • Add the roast veg, beans, sunflower seeds to a large bowl.
  • Stir in the salsa.
  • Top with chilli flakes, salt, pepper, extra olive oil and coriander.
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More Recipes with Cauliflower, Fennel, Butter Beans or Tomatoes

Discuss this Recipe with Niki
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18 Responses

  1. 5 stars
    WOW! Super easy recipe that is incredibly delicious and flavorful! I wish I would’ve doubled the recipe!

  2. This was one of your Yummie recipes once again. Loved it! I’m sure I will make a big batch when we have a family gathering during summer. I added some leftover couscous to make it more filling. That added an extra bite. Thanks!

  3. 5 stars
    Thus is a stunningly delicious recipe! Even my husband loved it, he does not like coriander, had to bowls and left for lunch the next day.

    Thank you x

  4. 5 stars
    Really loved this recipe! So hard to find yummy vegan recipes with a good amount of protein. I always end up having to figure out a way to incorporate it. Cant wait to serve to my non vegan friends!

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