Tri-Color Cauliflower Salad in a white bowl.

Tri Color Cauliflower Salad

A recipe for Tri Color Cauliflower Salad – a trio of purple, white and green cauliflower, with feta, herbs, and a Sherry vinaigrette.

Tri-Color Cauliflower Salad in a white bowl.
Tri Color Cauliflower Salad

This Tri Color Cauliflower Salad was inspired by the Farmer’s Salad at the Andaz 5th Avenue and is composed of purple cauliflower, Romanesco, creamy feta, fresh herbs, and a light vinaigrette.

Tri-Color Cauliflower Salad in a white bowl.

This post first appeared August 3rd, 2014 as part of the Simple Sundays series. I hope you enjoy this favorite from my kitchen!

There was a moment when I looked at my husband across the aisle and thought, “this is it.” Our children were sitting in the row with me, the oxygen masks secured on our faces, the breathing in and out of the clear air oddly calming.

It was a wet and gloomy March morning when we left San Francisco to fly back to New York to celebrate my brother’s wedding, and for a scary moment, I thought we just wouldn’t even make it, alive. The plane was over half an hour into flight when there was an unexpected loss in cabin pressure, and the pilots, in their masked breathing, advised us to use the masks when they dropped from the ceiling. Yes, those masks that you see illustrated on the card in the seat pocket in front of you. The masks that you ignore when the flight crew demonstrates at the beginning of each flight. That morning, as the air in the cabin thinned and my lungs begged for a good breath, they couldn’t seem to fall fast enough.

That flight was on the heels of the first Malaysian Air tragedy, and all the passengers were a bundle of nerves. We diverted to Oakland, and landed safely. But as we boarded a new plane, it did not surprise me that we lost about twenty passengers entirely. My husband half-joked that we should hop in the car and drive to New York for the wedding.

A green cauliflower.

A purple cauliflower.

When our car emerged from the Midtown Tunnel into the city, it was well past midnight, and we were weary and tired. And famished. But our sleek hotel room was a welcome oasis, with its view of the New York Public Library and midtown office lights that enchanted the children. And I was surprised to find that the quality of the room service surpassed my expectations.

That night, I ordered their Farmer’s Salad, composed of gorgeous raw purple cauliflower, Romanesco, chunks of creamy feta, fresh herbs, and a refreshing vinaigrette. It was light yet satisfying, and, in my mind, the perfect meal.

Purple cauliflower, Romanesco, creamy feta, fresh herbs, and a light vinaigrette tossed together in a white bowl.

Over the course of our stay there, we would come home from wedding events or shows hungry, and we would find ourselves ordering room service late at night. I found myself ordering this salad again and again, that is how much I loved it. It was consistently perfect. This Tri Color Cauliflower Salad has been haunting me ever since, and finally, five months after my brother’s wedding, I finally recreated it at home.

Chopped cauliflower in a brightly colored salad.

A purple cauliflower on a marble background.

Purple and green cauliflowers on a marble surface.

It’s funny how certain things can haunt you. I confess, that flight changed me. I was never so grateful to land safely. It had turned me, someone who was never frightened of air travel, into someone who experiences some apprehension with each odd noise on a flight. I now pay attention to the safety briefings. I look at the emergency card. I count the number of seats to my nearest exit. But then, there are good things that can haunt you. This salad is proof of that. And it’s definitely worth remembering.

Tri-Color Cauliflower Salad in a white bowl.

More Cauliflower Recipes

Baked Cauliflower Parmesan
Coconut Curry Cauliflower Rice Bowls
Creamy Cauliflower and Potato Soup
Roasted Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Chowder
Hummus Battered Buffalo Cauliflower “Wings”

Tri Color Cauliflower Salad

This Tri Color Cauliflower Salad was a welcome bite during my stay at the Andaz 5th Avenue. Since cauliflower is plentiful all year round, to me, this salad is ideal in that it is satisfying and accessible throughout the year. But if you can find gorgeous purple cauliflower and green Romesco, it will be even more vibrant.
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 431kcal


  • 1 medium shallot minced
  • 2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 9 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced white cauliflower
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced purple cauliflower
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced green cauliflower or Romesco
  • 1 cup radishes quartered
  • 1 cup feta cheese cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • fresh dill for garnish


  • In a small bowl, whisk together the shallot, sherry vinegar, lemon juice and mustard. While whisking, slowly pour in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Set the dressing aside, or refrigerate until you are ready to make the salad.
  • Combine the cauliflowers, radishes and feta in a large bowl. Dress with the Sherry vinaigrette. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary. To serve, plate the salad, and garnish with sprigs of dill. Serve immediately.


Recipe inspired by the Farmer's Salad at the Andaz 5th Avenue. Sherry vinaigrette from Bon Appetit.


Calories: 431kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 485mg | Potassium: 563mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 163IU | Vitamin C: 149mg | Calcium: 214mg | Iron: 4mg
Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see! Tag @kitchconfidante on Instagram and hashtag it #kitchenconfidante


Recipe Rating

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  1. Aysegul - Ice

    Wow.. scary!! Something like that never happened to me but I sure would feel the same way. I am glad you guys are safe and sound. 
    This salad looks delicious. PINNED! :)

  2. Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    Wow, what an experience. I would have been absolutely terrified, you are a braver woman than I! I love this salad – though I’m a more recent convert to cauliflower, I absolutely love it. These colors are so pretty!

  3. Liz @ Floating Kitchen

    Whoa – what a scary experience. Glad you are all OK. I would have been a mess for sure! I’m loving the vibrant colors in this salad. Looks delicious!

  4. Mary@SiftingFocus

    Wow, Liren, so scary!  I can imagine your fright.  So glad everything went well and you made it there safe and sound.  Now let’s talk about this salad.  I can imagine how it haunted you.  Sounds fabulous!  And I must tell you, these are among my favorite photos you have ever taken.  Just beautiful!

    • Liren Baker

      It really was, Mary! Between the inclement weather, the darkness of the early morning, and not knowing what was wrong with the plane, I will never forget it! But yes, this salad was the a bright spot that day. So good! I’m so flattered that you love the pictures – thank you, that means so much to me :)

Kitchen Confidante®