Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Warm Kale Salad: A Beast Free Thanksgiving Dinner Entree

American Thanksgiving is nearly upon us! This typically lazy and indulgent long weekend is the time to feast yourself into a serious food-coma…

Like Native Shoes, this two-part entree recipe is entirely beast free and 100% delicious. Skip the tryptophan this year for a lemon, garlic and rosemary-infused head of roasted cauliflower surrounded by a rich and creamy warm kale salad. Your guests will be impressed by your out-of-the-box choice and “oo and ah” over its beauty.

Yields: 4-6


For the whole roasted cauliflower:
1 large head of cauliflower (ideally purple!)
⅓ c. olive oil
2 tbsp fresh rosemary (chopped)
Zest from one large lemon
Juice from two large lemons
5 garlic cloves (minced)
Salt and pepper (to taste)

For the kale salad:
3-4 handfuls of brussel sprouts
2 small heads cauliflower (I used one white, one purple)
2 heads of red or purple kale
1 bunch radishes (cut in half) (I used the Easter egg variety)
2 meyer lemons
5 sprigs fresh rosemary
~½ c. olive oil (separated)
1 handful of bright purple kale leaves (optional) (hand-picked from loose leaf salad section of grocery store)
Salt and pepper (to taste)

For the salad dressing (you will have leftovers!):
¾ c. olive oil
4 tbsp dijon mustard
3 tbsp. nutritional yeast
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp. Vegan parmesan cheese (plus extra for garnish)
Zest from one lemon
Juice from two big lemons
5 cloves garlic (minced)
Salt and pepper (to taste)


For the whole-roasted cauliflower:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and two strips of tinfoil (long enough to wrap around the cauliflower).
  2. Slice off the base of your cauliflower so it can sit upright — but don’t slice too much, you want your cauli to stay intact.
  3. In a small container, whisk (or shake) together your olive oil, rosemary, lemon juice, zest, garlic, salt and pepper.
  4. Place your two tinfoil strips below your cauliflower on the baking sheet. Position one vertically and the other horizontally (like a plus sign). Now pour the sauce over the cauliflower, making sure it gets into all the cracks — massage it in! Now wrap the cauliflower with tinfoil, making sure the opening is at the top (so all the juices don’t pour out onto the pan).
  5. Roast the cauliflower for around 70 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when you can easily poke a small sharp knife into the tinfoil-wrapped cauliflower. At this point, remove the tinfoil and cook for another 10 minutes — this will crisp it up. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Once it’s done, wrap with tinfoil to keep warm.

For the kale salad:

  1. Line one large and two small baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside (if you don’t have small baking sheets any oven-proof casserole dish or pot will do).
  2. Wash and trim your brussel sprouts, then cut in half. Blanch in boiling water for one minute, then upon removal place them in cold water. Once cool, drain the cold water and pat the sprouts until they’re semi-dry. Toss with a few tablespoons of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and spread them onto one of your baking sheets. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown, flipping them once around the 8 minute mark. Remove from oven and cover to keep warm, or wait to roast them at the same time as the remaining vegetables.  
  3. Prepare your kale by washing, drying, de-stemming and tearing leaves into bite-sized pieces. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and spread onto one of your small baking sheets. Roast for 10 minutes or until crispy (keep an eye on them as they burn fast!).
  4. Now, cut your cauliflower into bite-sized pieces and throw them, along with the radishes, into a big bowl. Toss this mixture with olive oil, salt and pepper before transferring to the large baking sheet. Cut meyer lemons in half and rub them with olive oil — place these cut-side down on the baking sheet as well. Roast everything for 30 minutes or until desired tenderness.
  5. Aim to have kale salad ingredients in the oven when your whole-roasted cauliflower has 30 minutes left on the timer.
  6. Once all kale salad ingredients are roasted, toss together with desired amount of dressing. Be generous!

For the salad dressing:

  1. Add all ingredients to a medium-sized bowl and whisk together — you’ll be glad you have extra!

Plating your entree:

Place your roasted cauliflower at the center of an extra large platter (I used one from Janaki Larsen Ceramics). With hands or tongs, surround your purple centre piece with warm kale salad. Sprinkle with more vegan parmesan cheese and garnish with rosemary sprigs and roasted meyer lemons.

Happy beast free Thanksgiving from Native Shoes and I…and thanks to them for sponsoring this post!! 

Here are some shots from our weekend…

Me with my lil beast, Effie, and baby girl Roen. Read about Native’s Beast Free philosophy here.

Effie girl and her ears! And my Apollo Moc Natives – love these!

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