For weeks now I’ve been meaning to post a chili recipe. I know, I know it’s hot and most people are already thinking about summer. It seemed less ridiculous at the end of last month, but now with the temperature in the 100s where we are, I’m thinking I’ll save the chili recipe for autumn or winter and share with you this recipe instead. You’ll have to click on the link to see a photograph of this salad because I’ve never actually made it myself. (I probably should mention here that if you are reading this in your email, you may have to click over to read the blog in your browser in order to open the link.) I attempted to make it for a Mother’s Day picnic, but the organic cauliflower I bought turned out to have aphids underneath the plastic it was wrapped in (and somehow I didn’t notice that when I bought it? I’ll blame it on sleep deprivation). And although I tried to wash away the aphids, it was just a lost cause so I never made it. But my mama has made it twice now–one time for me when I was down visiting recently and it was delicious. And I forgot to take a photograph. If I can find someone other than myself who likes cauliflower, then I’ll try to make it again soon.
Black Pepper Cauliflower Salad
2 pound head of cauliflower, cut into tiny florets (think dime size)
3/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup red wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 tablespoon black peppercorns, crushed
1 cup toasted pistachios, roughly chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (my mom omitted the feta for me and it was still yummy)
3 apples, diced*
1/3 cup chopped black olives
* To keep apples from browning after slicing, place them in a bowl of water with a big squeeze of lemon juice until ready to use.
Bring a pot of water to a boil, salt well and cook the cauliflower for a minute, until just tender. Drain, run under cold water to stop cooking, drain well, and set aside.
You may notice that the recipe at 101 cookbooks says the following “Combine the red onion, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and black pepper in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the onions have turned pink and infused the oil and vinegar mixture, remove from heat and set aside.” But my mom just marinated the onions in the vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper without cooking them, and that was delicious, too.
When ready to serve, place cauliflower florets into a large bowl. Add the pistachios, feta, apples, olives, and 2/3 of the red onion vinaigrette. Toss everything together gently and give it a taste–depending on the saltiness of your feta, you might wish to add a little more salt. You might want to add the remaining vinaigrette as well.
I know the ingredients of this salad sound a little weird together, but if you’re not opposed to vinegar and cauliflower as my husband is, then you may be pleasantly surprised by this salad. And it tastes really good cold, too.