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Salad with spinach and cauliflower

Warm Cauliflower Spinach Salad with Pancetta

Warm Cauliflower Spinach Salad With Pancetta and Golden Raisins - it's the perfect winter salad... healthy, hearty, and full of flavor!

Course Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword Cauliflower
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 350 kcal
Author Holly Sander


  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 pound thickly sliced pancetta, cubed
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cored and cut into small florets
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (1/2 a lemon)
  • zest from half a lemon
  • 2 tablespooons fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 5 ounces baby spinach


  1. First, reconstitute the raisins: place them in a small bowl, and cover with water. Heat them in the microwave for about 1 minute, then set them aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the cubed pancetta and cook over medium-high heat until the fat has been rendered and pancetta is crispy (about 4 minutes). Using a slotted spoon, remove the pancetta and set aside, leaving the drippings in the pan.
  3. Add the onion and cauliflower to the drippings and season with salt and pepper, ensuring the florets are crown-side down. Cook uncovered over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes until golden. Be sure to keep a close watch on the pan and move the cauliflower and onions around occasionally to avoid overcooking.
  4. Add the sliced garlic, making sure it makes solid contact with the pan so it browns nicely. Turn down to medium heat, and cover. Cook for another 5 minutes. Stir gently once to make sure nothing is sticking or burning.
  5. While the cauliflower is cooking, mix the lemon juice and parsley with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Remove the cover from the cauliflower, and turn back up to medium-high heat, cooking another 3 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender and golden. Be sure not to overcook; the finished cauliflower should still have some body once it is added to the salad.
  7. Drain the water from the raisins, then add the cauliflower, spinach, pancetta, raisins, zest from 1/2 a lemon to the large bowl. Gently fold ingredients together and serve.