Here’s one of my favorite salads that feeds parents and babies alike. It’s got avocado, cauliflower, and a zippy yogurt dressing. You can give your baby each element (in pieces for baby-led weaning or mushed for spoon-feeding) before seasoning and composing for your own meal. It’s a win-win for everyone involved. Use this recipe as a guideline for cooking once, and eating twice—more on my strategy for that here—but remember, it’s simply a template. If you don’t have cauliflower, swap it for whatever is in season and can be roasted until soft. Broccoli or sweet potato would both work well. You can use any soft and mild cheese in place of feta; a great alternative is fresh goat cheese. Buy the ripest avocado you can find, it should feel like a summer peach if you press gently (tender but not too mushy). The whole point of this strategy is to bring the joy back into eating—not only for your baby, but also for you. Have fun with it. And if your baby doesn’t fall in love with the flavors the first time around, try again tomorrow. Sometimes it can take up to 10 (yes, 10) tries for them to get used to a flavor.
Editor's Note: Even if you aren't a new parent, you can—and should—still make this herby salad. Just season from the start as you would normally, enjoy the extra cauliflower for yourself, and use 6 tablespoons of yogurt instead of 1/2 cup. —Jane Katz
2 parents plus 1 baby
small head of cauliflower, cut into florets
extra-virgin olive oil, divided
whole-milk Greek yogurt, divided
finely chopped herbs (see Author Notes), plus more on top
Heat your oven to 400ºF. Place your cauliflower on a sheet tray and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Don’t season—salt isn’t good for babies, so you’ll season later. Roast for about 25 minutes, flipping halfway, or until golden brown and tender.
In a mixing bowl, combine 6 tablespoons of yogurt, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the chopped herbs, and 2 tablespoons of water. Season the dressing with salt and pepper to taste and add more water if needed. Reserve the remaining yogurt for your baby to try.
To assemble the salad, transfer the cauliflower to a platter, layer with the avocado and feta cheese, and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Drizzle with the yogurt dressing and top with more herbs.