Recipe: roasted cauliflower salad
Happy Year of the Snake, everyone! Gong xi fa tsai! I hope you had a good weekend, if not a festive one. Up until dinner Saturday night, it was non-stop cooking and cleaning over here. Even Kaweah got her nails trimmed and filed, ears cleaned, and coat brushed. Boy, was she happy when her “spa day” was over as she kept trying to slink away. It snowed on and off all weekend. It was nothing like what the East Coast got (color me a little jeals), but enough to paint our world white. Once Jeremy and I sat down to dinner and all of the special foods for the New Year’s Eve feast, we could finally relax. Sunday is merely a continuation of the feast, but thankfully, we don’t celebrate for the full two weeks. Two days are plenty for me! I’m ready for quick and simple fare again.
I have every intention of revisiting a wonderful recipe that my friend, Denise, served at a gathering she hosted last month. I had three helpings. It was a roasted cauliflower salad. Per my request, she emailed me the recipe (which she modified from Whole Living’s January 2013 issue) and I immediately made it and proceeded to consume most of it.
cauliflower, parsley, oranges, kalamata olives, white wine vinegar, salt, pepper, olive oil
Cauliflower and I go way back. Waaaay back. I grew up loving vegetables because my family prepared them well. Cauliflower and broccoli were two of my favorites because they looked like trees. They’re beautiful as well as earthy with a hint of bitter. When roasted, cauliflower takes on a delightful nuttiness that I can’t get enough of.
cut the head into 1/2-inch thick slices
arrange on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil
season with salt and pepper
While the cauliflower roasts in the oven, you can busy yourself with supreming the oranges. Actually, the original recipe calls for the use of clementines, but Denise and I both agree that supreming navel or juice oranges results in a nicer presentation. Zest the oranges first, then cut away the pith and slice out the segments. You’ll be left with the core and membrane, but don’t toss those out! There is still good juice to be had, so be sure to squeeze that out into a bowl to snazzy up the dressing.
cut away the pith after zesting the orange peel
carefully cut the orange segments out
squeeze any bit of juice out
After flipping the cauliflower slices over once, they should be done when they roast to a golden brown color. You can smell how lovely the cauliflower becomes while it’s roasting. Remove them from the oven and arrange on a serving platter or break them up into smaller pieces and place in a large bowl.
arrange them on a platter
add the orange slices and kalamata olives
The dressing is quite light and there isn’t much of it. You don’t really need a lot as everything in the salad lends sweet, acid, briny, herbal, and nutty components. However, I really think the extra juices from the cores of the oranges is a nice bonus to the flavor.
whisk the dressing together
chop the parsley
drizzle over the salad
See what I mean? It’s quick. It took me 30 minutes to prep and cook, although I’m not counting the time to photograph the steps. More than that, it’s a lovely salad and it tastes SO GOOD. Jeremy wrinkles his nose at cauliflower, but after he sampled what was left (well, what I hadn’t scarfed down yet) he wound up finishing the rest. Convert. I think even if you dislike cauliflower, give this one a try. It transforms into something so pleasant when roasted that it deserves a chance at your table. And it’s good for you!
fresh, bright, and pretty
a lovely and easy recipe for entertaining too
Roasted Cauliflower Salad
from Whole Living magazine (January 2013 issue) via Eat Play Love
1 head cauliflower, leaves trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch thick slabs
3 tbsps olive oil
fresh ground black pepper
2 oranges, zested and supremed (I used organic navels, but clementines are in the original recipe)
1/4 cup Kalamata olives
1 tsp white wine vinegar
any extra juice from the cores of the oranges
2 tbsps fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Preheat oven to 450°F. Arrange the cauliflower slices on a baking sheet (I lined mine with foil). Brush 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the cauliflower and then season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, the flip the cauliflower over and roast another 10 minutes or until the pieces turn golden. Remove from oven and arrange the cauliflower on a serving platter. Distribute the orange segments and olives over the cauliflower. Whisk the vinegar, zest, extra juices from the orange cores, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil together. Drizzle the dressing over the cauliflower. Sprinkle the parsley over the salad. Serves 4-6.
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