Crisp nutty nuggets of roasted cauliflower are like vegetable candy, and this flavorful salad is a great excuse to eat them for dinner. I love curly frisee, especially with a mustard vinaigrette, but you can substitute with any combination of winter greens (escarole, endive, baby kale, radicchio or baby kale) that can take the heat of a warm dressing.

Serves 2

  • 4 cups very small cauliflower florets
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups torn leaves of frisee (from about 1 small head)
  • ½ cored red apple (such as Lady or Honey Crisp), thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup toasted walnuts
  • A few tablespoons good quality blue cheese (optional)

Heat the oven to 450° F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cauliflower, 2 tablespoons of the oil, 2 teaspoons of the rosemary (or 1 teaspoon of the thyme), and ½ teaspoon salt in a mixing bowl and toss well. Transfer the cauliflower (scraping out herbs and oil) to the baking sheet. Reserve the bowl (don’t wash it). Arrange the cauliflower in one layer. Roast until well-browned and crisp, about 22 to 25 minutes.

Put the frisee in the reserved mixing bowl and season with a pinch of salt. Arrange two plates on your counter.

In a small skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and the remaining teaspoon of rosemary (or ½ teaspoon thyme) and heat until fragrant and just softened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vinegar and the mustard. Drizzle over the frisee and toss well. Grind a generous amount of fresh pepper over the frisee and toss again.

Mound a lofty portion of frisee in the center of each plate. Arrange the roasted cauliflower around the frisee. Tuck the apple slices into the salad and garnish with the toasted walnuts and with the blue cheese, if using. Serve right away.