April 02, 2013

Roasted Cauliflower & Antipasto Panzanella with Pomegranate Dressing


One of my favourite single-serving meals to throw together is a panzanella salad.  For anyone who hasn't heard of panzanella, it's basically a salad with bread, fresh herbs, and an olive oil-vinegar dressing. The bread is the key ingredient, and you can be as creative as you like with the rest of the components!

I've always had a preference for a summer panzanella with the best garden tomatoes, fresh basil, cucumber, and even corn, but I've learned that you can still make delicious and unique panzanellas any time of the year - check out my versions of winter panzanella and spring panzanella that I've posted on the blog!

I recently saw a recipe for a panzanella with olives and artichokes on Kitchen Confidante, and since I've finally learned to like olives, I was inspired to give this idea a try.

For my version, I used a mixture of black and green olives, marinated artichoke hearts and roasted red pepper for an antipasto base (I realize this isn't exactly authentic antipasto, but it was close enough for me!). I also roasted some cauliflower and grape tomatoes to round out the salad, and of course, a good crusty baguette!

For the herbs, I went with both fresh basil and mint, and finally, I made a simple red wine vinegar dressing with the addition of pomegranate molasses for a burst of sweetness.

It seems that you can't really go wrong with a panzanella because I always love every version that I come up with, and this one was no different! I loved the mixture of flavours, from the sweet and tangy dressing to the salty olives and briny artichokes. The warm roasted cauliflower and juicy tomatoes added a nice contrast to the antipasto ingredients, and the bread soaked up all of the flavours while keeping a bit of its crunch.

If you're a panzanella fanatic like me, I hope you'll give this version a try!

Roasted Cauliflower & Antipasto Panzanella with Pomegranate Dressing
Inspired by Kitchen Confidante

Approximate amounts per serving: (feel free to adjust to your liking)
1/4 head cauliflower, chopped
1/2 tbsp olive oil
7-8 grape tomatoes
7-8 pitted olives (I liked the small kalamatas best)
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
~50 grams of crusty bread, sliced or torn into small bite-sized pieces
~3 pieces of quartered artichoke hearts, sliced in half (the marinated jarred kind)
1 whole roasted red pepper (I used the jarred kind), sliced into thin strips
3-4 large leaves of fresh basil
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
1.5 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 tsp whole grain mustard
1/2 tbsp olive oil (optional – I left it out when I made the salad fresh, but added it to my leftovers the next day)
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Place the chopped cauliflower in a large roasting pan and drizzle with 1/2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper, tossing to coat. Roast in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes total.

After 10 minutes of roasting, add the tomatoes, olives, and garlic to the pan and return to the oven (for another 15-20 minutes). Place the bread chunks on a small baking sheet and spray with a bit of cooking spray. Add to the oven for the last 5 minutes of cooking time so they are lightly toasted (or longer if you like them extra crispy).

When everything is done roasting, combine in a large bowl (cauliflower, tomatoes, olives, garlic, and bread). Add the sliced artichokes and red pepper, basil, and mint, and toss to combine.

Whisk together the vinegar, pomegranate molasses and mustard. Pour dressing over salad and toss well. Drizzle with the extra 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil if desired.

Serve warm. Season with additional salt and pepper.

Makes 1 serving. 

Note: Leftovers of the fully assembled salad will not keep well, but you can roast a double portion of the veggies and keep leftovers of each portion separate in the fridge. The next day, heat up the veggies, toast your bread, chop up the herbs, and toss in the dressing. 


  1. this looks delicious! i love the olives and artichokes in there!

  2. I have a bottle of pomegranate molasses in the pantry and I never know what to do with it. I'm going to have to make this--I love olives and cauliflower together!

  3. Hi there. The current Food on Friday on Carole's Chatter is collecting links to dishes using cauliflower and/or cabbage. I do hope you link this in. This is the link . It would be great if you checked out some of the other links – there are lots of good ones already. Cheers

  4. I am a panzanella fantastic like you! *hehe* Cannot wait to try this one!!!! :)



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