Cauliflower Salad with Roasted Bell Pepper Dressing
Here's a recipe for a delicious, inexpensive and healthy dish. I prepared a simple cauliflower salad with two entire heads of cauliflower. The wow factor resides in its delicious salad dressing; I made it with roasted bell pepper, which gave a warm and inviting tone to the dish. Additionally, I used pine nuts for extra creaminess and a more complete protein source.
Yields: 8 servings2 heads cauliflower
¼ cup regular white vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
6 tablespoons champagne vinegar (or any white wine vinegar)
1 lemon, freshly squeezed
1½ tablespoons honey, to taste
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil (or canola oil), to taste
¼ cup lightly toasted pine nuts
1 roasted red bell pepper
¼ teaspoon ground coriander (optional) , freshly ground
1 tablespoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
¼ cup Italian parsley (leaves and stems), finely chopped
Soaking the cauliflower:
To cut the head of the cauliflowers into florets more easily, remove and discard the green leaves and the stem.
Place the stemmed cauliflowers in a large bowl, cover them with water and add the white vinegar. Stir well. Soak (see tips) for 5 minutes, then drain.
Fill a pot with cold salted water and bring to a boil. Add the whole cauliflowers, bring back to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for about 20 minutes. The cauliflower should be fork-tender (not mushy). Drain the water. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper. Allow to cool a little.
Once the cauliflowers are cool enough to handle, cut into wedges from the bottom. Pull and separate the small florets.
In a blender, combine the mustard, champagne vinegar, roasted bell pepper, pine nuts, lemon juice, honey, ground coriander (if used) and extra-virgin olive oil. Blend until smooth. Season with salt.
In a large serving bowl, combine the cauliflower and parsley. Toss well. Drizzle with the salad dressing. Toss one more time. Let sit for 30 minutes before serving.
Serve warm or cold.
Soak the cauliflower in the "vinegary" liquid to prevent oxidation (turning brown) of the vegetable.
Little reminder on how to roast the bell pepper: Stem and wash the bell pepper and pat dry. Place a grill on your stove and char the skin of the pepper. Wrap in aluminum foil. Let cool for about 5-10 minutes until you can handle it without discomfort. Clean the pepper using a knife; the skin will come right off. Seed it and cut the flesh into large chunks.
Little reminder on prepping the pine nuts: Heat a small pan and dry toast the pine nuts until fragrant and lightly browned. Set aside.
For the salad dressing, I usually add a little mustard which is a great binder (it contains lecithin) for a smooth-textured vinaigrette.
You can find champagne vinegar at Trader Joe's.
You could make the same salad using broccoli florets with chives; it's just as delicious.Published By: on December 9, 2013.