Cae sal. Morty-d. Cotty-c. If these phrases mean anything to you, you’re probably well aware of cook Molly Baz, and the creative and colourful recipes she’s made her hallmarks. Baz made her name as a member of Bon Appetit’s Test Kitchen team, back when its Youtube channel was in its heyday. Since she departed in 2020, she’s built a 745,000-strong Instagram following and, in 2021, published her first cookbook: Cook This Book. Now, she’s released More Is More, which is all about encouraging home cooks to loosen up in the kitchen and pack as much flavour as possible into dishes such as “drunken” cacio e pepe (which contains an entire bottle of red wine), marinated zucchini and mozzarella, and very large meatballs. This recipe, for cauliflower salad with a creamy ranch dressing, is no different.

“In this texture-wonderland salad, we’ve got cauli two ways, plus the world’s creamiest, dreamiest ranch dressing (tofu FTW!),” says Baz. “The sweet, caramelised craggy bits of roast cauliflower are always going to do it for me, but pairing it with some raw cauli for contrast is even better. Take this to a potluck, or serve it warm for dinner and enjoy the cold leftovers the next day for lunch. This dish is simply never not thriving.”

Molly Baz’s cauliflower salad with vegan ranch
Serves 4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes

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Ingredients:
2 large heads (1.82kg) cauliflower
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 jalapeno

Vegan ranch dressing
225g silken tofu
124ml (6 tbsp and 1tsp) vegetable oil
90ml (4.5 tbsp) unseasoned rice vinegar
45ml (2 tbsp and 1 tsp) white miso paste
1 bunch dill
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
1 large garlic clove
1 lemon, zested and juiced

Method:
Preheat the oven to 230°C. Coarsely chop cauliflower (stems and all) into 4cm pieces. Divide about ⅔ of the chopped cauli between 2 large rimmed baking sheets, keeping the remaining ⅓ aside. Drizzle with olive oil until generously coated, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Roast, stirring after 25–30 minutes, until deeply brown and crisp all over, 40–50 minutes total.

While the cauliflower roasts, chop the reserved raw cauliflower into smaller bite-size pieces (about 1cm).

Meanwhile, make the vegan ranch. In a blender, combine silken tofu, vegetable oil, rice vinegar, miso paste, a big ole handful of dill, a big ole handful of parsley leaves, garlic and lemon zest. Blend on high until bright green and very creamy. Taste and season with salt as needed, bearing in mind that miso can be very salty! If you don’t have a blender, finely chop the dill and parsley, grate the garlic clove, and then vigorously whisk the remaining ingredients together in a large bowl, breaking the silken tofu up as much as possible. The dressing won’t be as smooth, but it’ll still be tasty.

Thinly slice the jalapeno.

Once the cauliflower is roasted, combine it in a large bowl with the reserved raw cauli and sliced jalapeno (if you are spice averse, start by adding only half), then pick and toss in the remaining leaves from the bunches of dill and parsley.

Add about half the dressing, toss well to coat, and continue to add more as needed until the salad is very well dressed – you choose just how saucy you like it!

Squeeze the juice of the zested lemon into the salad, taste, and add more salt and pepper if needed. Serve warm, room temp or cold.

Images and lightly edited text from More Is More by Molly Baz, photography by Peden & Munk. Murdoch Books RRP $55.00.