Raw Cauliflower Salad... with a tangy vinaigrette. When it comes to salads, I have to admit that I mainly stick to simple salads. Normally, I fluctuate between leafy lettuce or cabbage... and adding the usual suspects, onion, cucumber, and tomatoes. Sometimes, I'll look through my fridge and add that lone boiled egg, or a handful of seeds or nuts to go right along with the rest of the ingredients. At other times, I may add other bits and pieces of veggies that I may have around as well... such as cauliflower, celery or carrots. It's funny how oftentimes the "small" salad I originally intend to make... well, all of a sudden becomes this gigantic bowl of veggies:).
In any case, the other day, I had finished all the shredded cabbage I had in the fridge, and as there was no leafy lettuce around, I decided to use the cauliflower I had... and of course, used my usual "technique" of adding a few other ingredients I had in the fridge:). And you know what? The result was delicious.
When it comes to using both cabbage and cauliflower in salads, you'll notice they both need quite a bit of acidity... they absorb it quickly(especially so if the salad sits overnight). You'll need to increase the acidity in the vinaigrette ... more so than you would otherwise add to a regular leafy salad. I prefer most times to use vinegar, but every so often will change things up a bit and add some lemon juice as well.
While I ended up making this salad with ingredients I had in the house, you can easily be creative and use vegetables you prefer... or omit any you don't care for.
Using cauliflower as the base of a salad is a wonderful idea, not only is it delicious, but it provides wonderful texture. As a bonus, the salad keeps well... even when made ahead. And because it has a tangy flavor, it can enhance many meaty dishes by cutting through their fat... from BBQ meats, braised meats, sausages, fried chicken and the likes.
The salad is also wonderful on its own... quite refreshing and filling!
Because I loved this salad, I thought to share it, in case you are looking for a different sort of salad to make... or you need a salad/side dish bring to a gathering that's mostly free of allergens. If you really want to make a meal of it, try adding some cooked beans, mungbeans, barley, chickpeas, etc. Hope you enjoy...
Tip: You can easily add in some pomegranate arils... and add a tablespoon or 2 of pomegranate molasses to the dressing. Feel free to use other herbs of choice... mint would be a good one. Lots of other vegetables would be good... fennel, cucumber, radishes, etc.
Note: Any type of dressing will work quite well, so feel free to use your favorite. I simply used what I had on hand.
You will need:
1/2 head(3 cups) cauliflower, diced
1 small bunch(1/2 cup) parsley, chopped
1 cup red bell pepper, diced
2 (1/2 cup) celery ribs, diced
5 thin(1/2 cup) green onion, chopped
1/3 cup sliced almonds(can use other nuts or seeds of choice)
3 TBS meyer lemon juice (can use regular lemons, but adjust amount to taste)
1 TBS white balsamic vinegar
2-3 TBS olive oil, can use a nut oil if desired
1/2 tsp spicy sesame oil, optional
3/4-1 tsp salt, or to taste
pepper to taste
1. Prep all ingredients and set aside.
2. Make vinaigrette by whisking all the dressing ingredients together until mixed thoroughly.
3. In a large bowl toss vegetables together and add the vinaigrette. Mix until evenly coated. Adjust taste and mix in almonds.
4. Pile salad in a clean bowl and serve straightaway... or allow salad to sit and absorb the dressing. The salad will get less tangy as the cauliflower absorbs the dressing. Also, the salad can be made ahead as it keeps well.... just mix in almonds before serving.