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An open Weck jar packed with cauliflower-broccoli salad.

Cauliflower, Broccoli & Pepita Salad

  • Author: Alexandra Stafford
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6 as a side


Inspired by a salad offered at a local restaurant, Pizza Buono.

Because the pepitas are toasted, this salad isn’t probably technically raw, so feel free to leave them raw if you are sticking to that sort of diet. And because sesame seeds can trigger allergic reactions, please check before serving this salad to those with nut allergies.

This salad keeps very well. Can be made a day in advance. Unfortunately, I can’t think of a great alternative to the slicer attachment of the food processor. A blender will likely turn the vegetables to mush; a mandoline (or a sharp knife) will work but will take forever.


  • 1 cup raw pepitas
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • kosher salt or sea salt
  • 1 small red onion or a couple of shallots
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1 bunch (about 6 stalks) scallions
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted or not
  • 1 jalapeño or other hot chili, minced
  • 2 to 3 Medjool dates, finely diced, or other dried fruit (golden raisins, dried cranberries)
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus a few more tablespoons to taste
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • red pepper flakes to taste (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Spread pepitas on a sheetpan, toss with 1 tablespoon (you could probably get away with using less) olive oil and a pinch of salt. Spread out and toast for 7 to 10 minutes or until you hear them starting to pop. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, dice the onions or shallots and place in a small bowl. Cover with three tablespoons of vinegar and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
  3. Using the slicer attachment to your food processor, slice up the cauliflower and broccoli. I used almost the entire head each of cauliflower and broccoli and stopped forcing florets down the shoot once my food processor was loosely filled. The final yield was about 8 loosely packed cups.
  4. Place sliced cauliflower and broccoli in a large bowl. Thinly slice the scallions (white and light green parts) and add to the bowl. Add sesame seeds, minced jalapeño and diced dates to bowl. Add cooled pepitas and macerated onions (with the vinegar) to the bowl. Add olive oil to bowl. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and toss well. Taste. If the jalapeño has provided enough heat, omit the red pepper flakes; if not, add pepper flakes to taste. Add more salt if necessary. Add more olive oil and vinegar as necessary: I added two more tablespoons olive oil and one more tablespoon vinegar. I used a whole teaspoon of salt. Toss again and taste.
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Toss
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: broccoli, cauliflower, dates, pepitas, sesame, raw, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free