Curried Cauliflower Salad with Apple & Fennel

Curried Cauliflower Salad with Apple & Fennel

I first discovered this combo at a networking event, at which I spent more time taste-testing all of the appetizers than talking to people. If you know me, you’re probably thinking, “typical.”

That night, after having just a nibble of a salad with cauliflower roasted with curry powder, apple, and fennel, I went home and made my own version of the same thing — one bite was not enough! Since then, I’ve made the recipe several times, tweaking it as I go. Here’s where I ultimately landed: a roasted cauliflower salad with dice apple and thin slices of fennel, tossed with arugula and drizzled with an apple cider vinegar, curry and honey vinaigrette.

Cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetables to roast. I’m guilty of popping several of the roasted florets into my mouth right as the pan comes out of the oven, still piping hot. It’s super versatile, making it a very good base for this salad, which once dressed is FULL of flavor.

Curried Cauliflower Salad with Apple & Fennel
Curried Cauliflower Salad with Apple & Fennel

Fennel pairs well with curry vinaigrette because fennel seed is often featured in curry. Fennel bulb is brighter and fresher than fennel seed, and provides a satisfying crunch. Meanwhile, apple is sweet and tangy, a contrast to bitter arugula.

It’s not in the recipe, but occasionally I’ll add a handful of toasted walnuts or pepitas to this salad, too. Nuts go a long way in making a salad feel full!

Unlike most salads, I think of this as cold weather fare. Apples and cauliflower are delicious and easy to find well into late fall, and in the summer I’m not as motivated to turn on my oven to roast a pan of veggies. The curry vinaigrette is warming, and the whole salad goes well with roasted chicken or mahi mahi.

Curried Cauliflower Salad with Apple & Fennel

Watch the video below, or keep scrolling for the recipe!

Curried Cauliflower Salad with Apple & Fennel

Published September 22, 2016 by
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Yield: 6   |    Active Time: 40 minutes


For the salad:
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 apples, one diced and one sliced for garnish
  • 1 bulb fennel, sliced thin
  • 4 cups fresh baby arugula

  • For the dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoons black pepper

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
    2. Place cauliflower on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat. Roast in oven for 20-25 minutes, until cooked through and edges are browning. Set aside to cool.
    3. Make vinaigrette: combine all ingredients for vinaigrette in a jar and shake to combine.
    4. Assemble salad: place arugula in bowl, and top with cauliflower, apple, and fennel. Drizzle with half of vinaigrette and toss to combine. Add more vinaigrette as desired.


    Cranberry Waldorf Slaw with Paleo Poppy Seed Dressing

    Cranberry Waldorf Slaw with Paleo Poppy Seed Dressing

    I wanted a salad that would crunch. I wanted a salad that would fill me up. Mostly, I wanted a salad that would quench my sudden thirst for all things fall. Cranberries! Delicata Squash! Brussels Sprouts! I wanted it all. 

    And then I remembered that quickly wilting head of cabbage rolling around in the fridge. Hmph. 

    Cranberry Waldorf Slaw with Paleo Poppy Seed Dressing

    Ok, I like cabbage. I really like cabbage. But cabbage salads -- they're all the same. And while that sentence probably says more about how much that cabbage was inspiring me than about how good a dish using it might be, the result was the same. I was bored.

    That's when I realized: when life hands you a head of cabbage, you make lemonade! (Er -- Slaw. That's how the saying goes, right?). 

    Cranberry Waldorf Slaw with Paleo Poppy Seed Dressing

    So I made slaw. And that cabbage? It's tightly packed leaves seem to double in volume when their shredded. So I made a LOT of slaw. A slaw five times the size of my stomach. 

    But you know what?? We ate it all. Not over the course of the week, not over the course of a few days. Nope -- we ate it all at dinner, in one sitting. 

    Cranberry Waldorf Slaw with Paleo Poppy Seed Dressing

    Cranberry Waldorf Slaw with Paleo Poppy Seed Dressing

    Paleo, Primal, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Vegetarian    |       |    Print Friendly and PDF

    This salad began as a celebration of fall, but as I added more and more ingredients, it became more and more like a waldorf salad.

    Serves: 6-8   |    Total Time:


    • 1/2 head green cabbage
    • 1 small fennel bulb
    • 1 crisp apple
    • 2 stalks celery
    • 1/4 cup cranberries
    • 1/4 cup toasted walnut halves
    • For the dressing:
    • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 cup oil olive
    • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons honey, melted
    • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
    • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1 tablespoon paleo mayonaise


    1. Using a food processor, fitted with a mandolin attachment, slice the cabbage into a fine slaw. Cut the fennel bulb in half vertically, and slice it with the same attachment. Run the celery through the mandolin as well.
    2. Wash, core and julienne the apple. Arrange the ingredients, including the walnuts and cranberries on serving dish.
    3. Make the dressing: Quickly whisk together all of the ingredients until emulsified.
    4. When ready to eat, toss the salad in the dressing. Serve.

    Cranberry Waldorf Slaw with Paleo Poppy Seed Dressing

    Creamed Fennel and Cauliflower Soup (Paleo & Vegan)

    Last week I went to my dads house carrying a basket full of apples, and some how left his house with a lot more. The apple tree in the backyard is officially up for harvesting (so expect a lot of apple recipes coming your way soon), and I have plenty of apple love to share. (Apples are my favorite. The fact that I'm giving them away must mean that there are a lot of apple in the backyard). The garden at my Dad's house was flourishing, and with a lot more than apples--Kale, chard, basil, cucumbers, fennel. He loaded me up. There was so much kale growing in the garden bed that he said, "You have to take a bunch of kale home for every other vegetable you pick". 

    Fair enough. (Actually, fair is the wrong word. I think I won that bargain...)

    One of the vegetables I picked was a fennel bulb the size of my abdomen. (Seriously. This thing  was large enough to be shaped into a fennel body suit). Even after pulling off all of the fronds, the bulb was probably twice as big as my face. Intimidating? Yes. But I know better than to fear an oversized vegetable.

    Into the Instant Pot it went! Along with some bone broth, onion, garlic, and cauliflower. I made this soup the day after having my wisdom teeth removed, and pureeing it was the only answer. It took out the chew factor, but it also converted the soup into a lusciously creamy treat that was perfect for snuggling up on the couch with. 

    Enjoy this while fennel is in season! It's super easy. Now... does any one have a good recipe for Fennel Fronds? I tried making a pesto--not impressed. 

    This post has been featured over at Phoenix Helix's AIP round table. Check out all the other great recipes! It's also a part of Real Food Wednesdays. Visit Kelly the Kitchen Kop to see 'em all. 

    Creamed Fennel and Cauliflower Soup

    Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free    |       |    Print This Recipe

    This soup get it’s creamy texture from cauliflower.

    Serves: 4   |    Total Time:


      For the salad:
    • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
    • 1 white onion
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 1 extra large or 2 medium sized fennel bulbs, stalks and fronds removed
    • 1 pound cauliflower florets
    • 1 cup coconut milk
    • 3 cups broth (bone broth or vegetable broth)
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • Optional: Truffle oil, for serving
    • Optional: Black pepper for serving (NOTE: this recipe is AIP-friendly if you skip the pepper).


    1. Slice the onions, mince the garlic, and chop the fennel. If your cauliflower is not already chopped into florets, do that now. In the bottom of your pressure cooker, heat up the coconut oil. Sauté the onions until translucent. Add the garlic, fennel, and cauliflower. Sauté for 5-10 minutes, until the edges of the vegetables begin to turn golden.
    2. Pour the broth and coconut milk into the pot. Add salt. Cook on the soup setting for at least 5 minutes.
    3. Once the pressure cooker is done cooking, release the pressure and remove the lid. Use a standing blender or an immersion blender to puree the soup to a smooth, creamy consistency.
    4. Scoop into serving bowls and drizzle with truffle oil. Top with freshly cracker pepper, and garnish with a left over fennel frond. Serve hot.

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