Broke Student Cooking: Romanesco Broccoli & Purple Cauliflower Salad

Broccoli and cauliflower variants are glamorous. Romanesco especially is unusual enough to beautify a plate while remaining nutritious and easy to prepare. For this recipe, Romanesco broccoli and purple cauliflower meet tabbouleh to create a lemony cauliflower salad that’s hearty, gorgeous, and vegan.

Cooking Utensils

  • Knife
  • Large spoon
  • Cutting board
  • Work bowl
  • Baking sheet/pan
  • Foil


  • 1 cup prepared tabbouleh, quinoa, or other base salad
  • 1 head Romanesco cauliflower
  • 1 head purple or other cauliflower
  • 2 shallots or other mild onion
  • 1 medium lemon, or 2 small
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 ½ tablespoons rice or white wine vinegar
  • ¾ cup olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon

Preparation Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Chop one shallot. Combine it with vinegar and 1 tsp salt in work bowl.
  3. Cut lemon into small chunks, removing seeds, and add to bowl. Smash chunks a little to release juices.
  4. Add capers and oil to work bowl, stir with spoon to combine. Let stand.
  5. Use knife to remove heads of cauliflower from their stems. Chop other shallot.

Cooking Instructions

  1. Cover pan with foil. Place cauliflower heads and chopped shallot on pan.
  2. Coat vegetables with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with black pepper and 1 teaspoon salt. Toss if distribution is uneven.
  3. Bake vegetables in oven for 25 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and spoon several tablespoons of the shallot/vinegar mixture on top of vegetables, until covered.
  5. Serve with tabbouleh, quinoa, or any other type of grain or salad.


The tabbouleh and cauliflower were found at The Food Conspiracy Co-Op. Almost all grocery stores in town will have similar ingredients available. When purchasing a tabbouleh salad to accompany this meal, the total price was $13.61. This will feed at least four people, bringing the price per serving to $3.40 or less.

Britannia Roskelly is a UA student with a passion for high gastronomy on a budget. Follow her on Instagram at @balboa_kitchen.