Global Veg » A Culinary Journal

Purple & Orange Cauliflower Salad


As I was heading out of the produce section of Whole Foods the other day, a flash of color in an unexpected area caught my eye. The cauliflower bin was full of purple and orange cauliflowers! I love to cook with color but was concerned whether these colorful cauliflowers were genetically modified. A quick google search determined that these were a product of selective breeding, not genetic engineering.  The article I read also explained how they might actually be healthier than regular cauliflowers.

The orange cauliflowers apparently have 25 times more beta carotene than regular cauliflowers. The purple ones get their color from anthocyanin, which helps in preventing heart disease.

IMG_5314_purpleorangecauliflowerI deliberated for a couple of days on what to make with them to best show off their colors. A trip to the farmers market this morning gave me the inspiration I needed. White spring onions and fresh dill would be great additions to a salad with just blanched cauliflower florets.


Since I was making it for a main course, I added some shell pasta. Cannellini beans would have been a great addition too.


Purple & Orange Cauliflower Salad


  1. 1 head each of purple and orange cauliflower (or about 2 pounds of cauliflower) cut into florets
  2. 4 ounces of pasta shells, cooked
  3. 2 white spring onion bulbs, diced
  4. 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh dill
  5. 1 cup cooked cannellini beans (optional)
  6. 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  7. 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  8. 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  9. salt and pepper to taste


  1. Blanch the cauliflower florets by adding them to a pot of boiling water. Remove after 2-3 minutes and submerge in a bowl of ice water (to stop the cooking).
  2. Combine all the ingredients well.
  3. Serve chilled or at room temperature.


Do not overcook the cauliflower. It should still be slightly crisp.

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