Roasted Cauliflower, Golden Raisin and Candied Almond Salad with Harissa Dressing

in Salads

No one tells you that throwing a surprise party requires lots and lots of lying. Which would be totally fine except that when I lie I get an awkward smile on my face and can’t wipe it clean to save my life. Basically, whenever I’m super uncomfortable I smile or laugh. Like, for instance, when I’m at the lady doctor…there’s lot of uncomfortable laughing with almost tears running down my face. I’m melodramatic. I’m embarrassing. Also, apologies for the overshare! So yes, if you ever meet me and I’m smiling awkwardly as I speak to you, it’s either because I’m super stoked to be meeting you OR I’m extremely uncomfortable. Just go with the former.

This past weekend I was a total lunatic and consumed about five snow cones, three tacos, two waters, three Mexican cokes (maybe four), a fried chicken-skin egg sandwich and a few red vines, just for fun.

I feel like my body needs a break and my energy needs a boost.

I’m being super LA on Thursday and starting a cleanse. I’m not ready. I like food. I love food, rather.

Instead of going totally cold-turkey, I’m being kinder to my body and doing it gradually.

I’m grooving into it…starting with this salad.

If I’m going to eat healthy, I like it spicy.

I feel like I’ve been promising something healthy for a few weeks now, but just kept giving you fried chicken and waffles.

I love eating indulgent, crazy and fun food, but sometimes I need to eat something that will make me feel good about myself, you know?

This salad is it. It’s fun, spicy, sweet and filling.

The cauliflower is roasted and then tossed with a light harissa dressing. The golden raisins are quick-pickled to add a bit of sweetness and tartness to the salad. The slivered almonds candied in honey and salt give a nice crunch along with a bit of sweet. And the mint, oh the mint! So dreamy and refreshing.

This salad is a salad. Yes, it is, but it’s also one of those salads that can double as a main dish and rise to the occasion. I ate a big bowl of this at room temperature and called it lunch. No egg, no meat, no addition. Just a big ol’ bowl of cauliflower!

Roasted Cauliflower, Golden Raisin and Candied Almond Salad with Harissa Dressing

Serving Size: 4

Roasted Cauliflower, Golden Raisin and Candied Almond Salad with Harissa Dressing


  • 1/4 cup golden raisins (or regular raisins)
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • Salt
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 5-6 leaves fresh mint, chopped
  • Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon harissa
  • Salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Set aside.
  2. Add the golden raisins, white vinegar and a pinch of salt to a small bowl; allow to sit to quick-pickle while preparing the salad, about 30 minutes.
  3. Next, cut the cauliflower into florets and spread them in one even layer on the baking sheet. Drizzle a few tablespoons of olive oil over the cauliflower and toss. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, flipping the cauliflower at the 10-minute mark. You'll know when the cauliflower is done when it's tender when poked with a fork and lightly golden brown in color.
  4. Meanwhile, add the honey, slivered almonds and a few pinches of salt to skillet. Turn the heat to medium and cook until the almonds are golden brown and caramelized, about 3-4 minutes. Remove with a spoon and set aside. To make the dressing, mix together the olive oil, harissa and a few pinches of salt. Adjust salt accordingly.
  5. When the cauliflower comes out of the oven, allow to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Add the dressing and toss. Drain the golden raisins and add them to the cauliflower, along with the slivered almonds and mint. Toss once more and transfer to a serving plate.

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Kiran @ March 4, 2013 at 12:44 am

I need to get into juicing as well. And it’s definitely especially when we love food. I’d use your approach by easing into it with this delicious light salad. Yum!


Little Kitchie March 4, 2013 at 4:09 am

It’s fate… I just bought harissa this weekend and had no idea what I was going to use it for. Now I know! Looks fabulous!


Steph @ Stephsapartmentkitchen March 4, 2013 at 5:30 am

I LOVE Harissa in everything and love that you used it with cauliflower. This recipe looks delicious and so flavorful!

A cleanse this time of year is definitely needed. I’m curious to hear how yours goes. Are you doing any particular one?


Adrianna March 4, 2013 at 9:20 am

Oh gosh, yes. It’s sort of embarrassing but the one I did a few years ago was by Dr. Alejandro Junger. Here’s the link. (And yes, that’s a link to Goop.)

I felt crazy and terrible for the first 3 days, but after that I felt great.


Elisa @ Insalata di Sillabe March 4, 2013 at 5:44 am

This salad looks really yummy! I know it might sound weird but I truly love healthy food and I often have salads for lunch or dinner, so I’ll be trying this recipe for sure!
Also, I’d love to learn how to use spices in the kitchen, since I never really incorporate them in my dishes…if you have any good suggestion (and I bet you do have!) please, let me know!

xo, Elisa


Adrianna March 4, 2013 at 9:23 am

Oh! I don’t think I can give you a definitive direction as to how to use spices since it usually depends what kind of dish you’re making. I like to use spices as rubs on meats and always add them to bases for soups and stews. Not sure if that explanation helped! :)


Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar March 4, 2013 at 5:47 am

This sounds awesome! What a fabulous recipe!


Tina March 4, 2013 at 6:04 am

Yup I’m with you! I need cleansing. This looks scrumptious! U lady had a major weekend of eating :)


Bev @ Bev Cooks March 4, 2013 at 6:45 am

BAM. I want this.


mimi March 4, 2013 at 9:47 am

harissa in a tube!!! fabulous!!!


Zoe Alexander March 4, 2013 at 9:48 am

This looks so delicious! It is simple, healthy and quick!
Zoe xxx


Monique @ Ambitious Kitchen March 4, 2013 at 10:00 am

God I love roasted cauliflower.


Jen @ Savory Simple March 4, 2013 at 10:52 am

I have been eating cauliflower nonstop recently. I must make this!


Megan @ Hint of Vanilla March 4, 2013 at 10:57 am

I don’t think I’d have the willpower to keep a cleanse up for more than a day. If I have cheese in my fridge, I’ll eat it, no questions asked. And I can’t go to the grocery store and not buy cheese. It’s a problem.


Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking March 4, 2013 at 10:58 am

So pretty! I like my health food, most food actually, with a good kick of spice.


Lindsey March 4, 2013 at 12:37 pm

i have harissa powder. how would i go about using it here..?


Adrianna March 4, 2013 at 2:16 pm

I’ve never used harissa powder but I just did some looking on the internets and it seems that you can just add it to the olive oil and it’ll be fine. I’d ignore my harissa measurement above and add the powder to the olive oil by taste (since it can get pretty spicy). Hope that helps!


Liz @ Tip Top Shape March 4, 2013 at 4:29 pm

That first picture is gorgeous!!


Whitney @ The Newlywed Chefs March 4, 2013 at 5:52 pm

Adrianna, this is is a gorgeous salad and seems so healthy! Perfect for the upcoming warm weather!


Jayne March 4, 2013 at 9:03 pm

Mmmm… this looks really great! I’ve been looking out for new ways to make my veggie dishes and I think this is a mighty fine way to start.


Rebecca @ Pavlova's Dog March 5, 2013 at 5:41 am

This sounds dreamy! I love roasted vegetables. I love harissa. I love raisins. I love you for this recipe. Good luck with your upcoming cleanse!


Katie March 5, 2013 at 5:53 am

A few of my friends have tried to give up coffee for the new year. As “Thou shalt drink copious cups of coffee/tea” is near the top of my modern day commandments, I couldn’t contemplate trying a cleanse. Lots of water and snacking on fruits and veggies helps me keep from overeating on carbs (usually!). But good luck on your journey! :)

This salad looks divine. Isn’t roasted cauliflower the prettiest thing?


Katie @ Blonde Ambition March 5, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Love the simplicity of this. And totally agreed on using spice to…well…spice up a healthy dish. It’s necessary!


Christina @ The Beautiful Balance March 5, 2013 at 5:53 pm

I just prepared a head of cauliflower and had plans to roast it with just evoo and sea salt. Thankfully I have all of these ingredients on hand and am making these asap!


lynn @ the actor's diet March 6, 2013 at 11:40 pm

this reminds me of a salad i had at hart and the hunter today…it was lovely seeing you tonight – good luck cleansing tomorrow!


Charis March 11, 2013 at 10:42 am

This sounds delish! I love cauliflower but would never have thought of having it like this.


Sarah March 12, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Any suggestions on where one would find harissa? I’ve never heard of it before today, but if it’s spicy, it’ll be welcomed by my fiance. :)


Adrianna March 12, 2013 at 3:35 pm

Yes! You can find harissa a lot of times at French supermarkets and online (there’s a link above). Also, Whole Foods has it usually. I’d obviously call first because it just depends on which Whole Foods market.


Megan Robison March 17, 2013 at 2:41 pm

I had a tough time finding harissa but it was so worth it! Thanks for the recipe.


erin @WELLinLA March 24, 2013 at 11:16 am

Making this for dinner tonight… thank you for the inspiration! And I don’t have harissa on hand, but going to blend up a version with tumeric, garlic, cumin, lemon and hot sauces that I have on hand. Good luck with the cleanse!


cristina July 23, 2013 at 1:20 pm

just made this……. delicious!!


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