crunch time June 29, 2009

IMGP5687 It's crunch time…and that has multiple meanings. There is a lot going on personally and professionally that is going to require my attention. Work gets busy again this month. I have a couple projects that need some serious focus. It's also crunch time in that I need to get back into shape. The highs and lows of life (more highs than lows these days)  in the past 6 months have me feeling a bit…gluttonous. All this living high on the hog and happier than a pig in slop has me toting around a couple more pounds than I'd like. After a superb birthday week spent with amazing people both old and new (more on this later!)- and more than my fair share of pork belly and foie gras – I'm making a conscious decision to lighten up a bit.

I got inspired by this orange cauliflower at the market as a way to have a crunchy salad without the usual greens. You can easily substitute red onions for the green onion and throw in any fresh produce you have around the house. While this salad is great on its own, it is also a great base to add meats or cheese to make it a heartier meal. After this photo was taken, I threw in some chopped salami and crumbled blue cheese. 

Crunchy Cauliflower Salad – serves 6 to 8 as a side dish 

  • 1 head cauliflower – broken into florets
  • 2 cans garbanzo beans – rinsed and drained 
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes – halved or quartered depending on their size 
  • 3 green onions – green and white parts cut down to the root 
  • 2 tbsp. chopped basil 
  • 2 tbsp. chopped flat leaf parsley 
  • zest and juice of 1 medium lemon 
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 
  • 4 tbsp. red wine or white wine vinegar 
  • 1 tbsp. dijon mustard 
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste 

– In small bowl, whisk together lemon zest and juice, olive oil, vinegar and mustard. 

– In a medium pot, bring water to a boil. Add cauliflower florets and blanch quickly, 2-3 minutes. Rinse with cold water or drop in ice bath to stop cooking. Drain and allow to cool off in colander.
– While cauliflower is cooling, add chopped onions, tomatoes, and garbanzo beans to a mixing bowl. Add in cauliflower once cool and add the vinaigrette. Toss together and sprinkle with parsley, basil, salt and pepper. Allow to marinate together for at least 15 minutes before serving.  


Foodie Buddha Jun 29, 2009 01:06 pm

thank you for not including broccoli in this! ;-) Looks great … must try.

tami Jun 29, 2009 01:06 pm

I almost used broccoli…I like broccoli a lot…and I think cauliflower is way underused in recipes. Lemme know how you like it :)

Katie Jun 29, 2009 03:06 pm

I’ve been trying to figure out what to make for a 4th of July cookout, and this seems like the perfect solution!

andy matthews Jun 30, 2009 01:06 pm

If you don’t have orange cauliflower, you could try blanching white cauliflower in some curry seasoned water. That’s actually what I thought you had done at first. That would be excellent as a Southeast Asian inspired salad.

tami Jun 30, 2009 02:06 pm

that IS a great suggestion! certainly, you can substitute regular white, the green kind or even the purple for a pop of color…but blanching the white stuff in some seasoning is a great addition. thanks :)
– tami

tastestopping Jul 1, 2009 04:07 am

I love cauliflower, but must admit have never seen the orange variety before. Maybe I just haven’t been looking! And since we love garbanzo beans in this house, you’d think we’d use them more often. This salad is going to fix that!

SecretNatasha Jul 2, 2009 11:07 pm

This looks really tasty. I bet it would be delicious with curry spices, too.