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Try this recipe! Roasted Cauliflower Peppercorn Salad

I’m a harried, busy, not-afraid-to-say-so blogger today! But I have to share this recipe!!!!! Yes, five exclamation point worthy :) 

I have no pictures. I could have taken one of the cauliflower I just bought to make this again. But you know, that’s just … Actually, that’s currently just too much extra to do LOL 

Sam’s sister Becca, and her boyfriend are flying in tonight and I’ve been in my usual frenzy of catching up on neglected house things and wanting as much as possible to be done ahead. I want to sit back and enjoy their company, and I also want to cook good food! That takes more than my usual amount of planning ahead (usual planning ahead = .001 on a scale of 1 to 100.) 

But last night, with the fear my pristine white cauliflower was going to soon turn into a gray splotchy thing, I jumped on this recipe I’ve been thinking about making. Of course, I didn’t follow the recipe proportions exactly. (I know you’re so surprised by that!) Here’s the link to Black Pepper Cauliflower Salad, which links to the original recipe that THAT one came from, and below I will tell you what I actually did. Even my hubby said I could make this weekly. Honestly, he did! (After I asked him if it would be OK if I made it every day for a month or two hahaha.)

The recipe is farther down, but let me introduce you to this strange melange of ingredients. Ready? Roasted cauliflower. A dressing of chopped shallot, vinegar, oil, and crushed black peppercorns cooked together. Chopped apples. Yes, really! Pistachios, feta, and olives. 

I had one small crown of broccoli and two lonely not-so-crips carrots that needed using, so I roasted those along with half the called-for amount of cauliflower. It definitely made the warm salad more colorful. I would suggest adding diagonally sliced carrots to this for color no matter what. 

Then I started listening to my tastebuds, especially after I got the dressing simmering. My tastebuds said to leave out the olives this time. Then I realized I had no feta, but my tastebuds said finely grated parmesan would be awesome so that’s what I used. They were right! My Lazy Self said chopping pistachios was too much effort so they went in whole. The the tastebuds and Lazy Self said, “Don’t worry about seasoning up that quinoa that’s steaming on the stove; just serve this tangy tasty pretty warm veggie salad right over the top of it.” So I did that, too. And you know what? It was perfect!

I hope one day soon you will roast up some cauliflower and carrots, bash some peppercorns and set them to simmer on the stove in a little saucepan with the other dressing ingredients, and chop some apples for this salad. Whether or not you put it over quinoa and serve it alongside pan-fried hake (fish) is up to you! It’s tangy and edgy and has sweet surprised of crunchy apple and firm pistachios that makes it an attention getter!

Roasted Cauliflower Peppercorn Salad
A salad to serve at room temp, or freshly made as a hot/cold experience, loaded with flavors and good nutrition!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 head cauliflower, cut into large bites (6-ish cups?)
  2. 1 cup or more carrots, cut into 1/4" diagonal slices
  3. olive oil to lightly coat veggies above
  4. 1 large or 2 small apples, cut into bite sized pieces
  5. 1/2 c. pistachios (chopped if desired)
  6. 1/2 c. or more finely grated parmesan cheese
Dressing
  1. 1-2 shallots, diced fine (about 1/2 c.)
  2. 1/4 c. red wine vinegar
  3. 1/4 c. olive oil
  4. 1 Tbsp coarsely crushed black peppercorns
  5. 1/2 tsp. salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Prepare cauliflower and carrots by tossing in a large bowl with some olive oil to lightly coat them. To intensify the black pepper presence in the salad, lightly dust with fresh ground pepper (optional.) Roast for about 15 minutes until the cauliflower gets some browning and the carrots are softened. Reserve the bowl for mixing the salad.
  3. While veggies are roasting, chop shallots and add to a small saucepan with other dressing ingredients. Bring to a boil, then simmer 3-4 minutes until shallots are soft and translucent. Set aside off the heat.
  4. Prepare remaining ingredients and place all but the parmesan cheese in the bowl. When veggies are done, place them in the bowl and pour most of the dressing over everything. Toss well to coat. Stir in parmesan (reserving some for garnish if desired.)
  5. Serve topped with remaining dressing and reserved parmesan cheese, either immediately for hot/cold effect, or at room temp.
Notes
  1. This amount was just right to serve over a platter of prepared white quinoa, 1 cup before cooking. Serves 4-6.
Adapted from Full Circle blog
Adapted from Full Circle blog
2Create in Color http://www.2createincolor.com/
I know Becca’s boyfriend will prefer not to eat this dish because he has yet to be converted to a veggie fanatic by me and my family, but the rest of us will nom-nom-nom it again soon!

Eat your veggies!

Gail

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