Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Smoky Cauliflower Almond Salad

Normally, I roast cauliflower in large wedges with as many flat sides as possible.  The more contact with the pan,  the more browning and flavor.  But a tasty little salad at Area Four in Cambridge gave me another idea.  Their cauliflower is cut into small florets.  It has occasional charred edges, but retains a bit of its raw crunchiness.  It would be lacking in flavor if it wasn't for the smoky paprika vinaigrette.  It gives this technically vegan dish such husky depth and intensity, that I find it as satisfying as chorizo on a cold winter day.

For the salad:
1 head of cauliflower, broken down into small florets
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onions
1/3 cup roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup golden raisins, plumped up in not water for 5 min and drained
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

For the dressing:
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove grated on a microplane zester
1 tsp smoky Spanish paprika (Pimentón de la Vera)

Salad procedure:
  1. Preheat the oven to 500F and set the oven rack on the lowest setting.
  2. Spread cauliflower florets in a single layer on a large baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Toss to distribute oil and seasoning evenly and spread in an even layer.
  3. Place the baking dish in the oven and cook until slightly charred, 10-15 minutes.  Let cool to warm.
  4. Place cauliflower in a large bowl and add onions, almonds, raisins, and parsley.
Dressing procedure:
  1. In a small bowl combine vinegar and mustard.  Whisk with a fork until combined.  Gradually add oil whisking constantly.  Whisk in garlic and paprika.
  2. Pour dressing oven the salad, season with salt and pepper and mix well.  Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt, vinegar, and paprika as necessary.  Can be served warm or cold.


Becks said...

Looks amazing! I must try this :)

Kalyn Denny said...

Love the sound of this!

Jeanne said...

I made this the other night as a side for Veal Marsala with creamy polenta. This was OUT OF THIS WORLD and so good for you... Warm it was fantastic and cold the next day for lunch was even better. A keeper, keeper of a recipe. Thank you Helen!

Katya said...

We made it for dinner tonight and it was absolutely delicious!
Now we need to figure out what to pair it with - tonight's fish combination did not work too well.

Anonymous said...

WOW, this was incredible! Such an off the wall combo. but it really works!!