How do you like your cauliflower? I think I prefer it raw, it's not bad in a curry, as a soup or roasted but it's subtle beauty shines when enjoyed in it's purest form. It wasn't one of the more common vegetables at our kitchen table whilst growing up but I think I have made up for it's absence in the past 5 years. This salad is a riff on Peter Lahey's cauliflower pizza recipe, minus the crust. Instead of parmesan cheese I have created a vegan alternative using nutritional yeast, it's not a bad substitute. Paired with colossal green olives and copious amounts of parsley it's highly regarded at mealtimes and even holds up well the next day. This salad comes with a warning, pile your plate high as it's hard to stop at one serving. This neutral tasting vegetable has been enjoying abit of a renaissance as I've seen a myriad of recipes ranging from pizza crust, rice, mashed potato and even risotto (you read right). Cauliflower you are a star! So versatile for the omnipresent gluten free and low carb bias of our times.
This is probably one of the easiest recipes to make, the only real chore for me is washing and chopping the parsley. I border on the neurotic when it comes to washing herbs, takes me longer than most. I like to think of myself as thorough. Getting back to the salad, it really is a nice alternative to a green salad.
Raw Cauliflower Salad
Nutritional yeast is a great source of vitamin B12 for the vegans out there. It's usually sold in health food shops.
1 large cauliflower
200g large pitted green olives, coarsely chopped
bunch of flat leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
2/3 cup pinenuts
45g nutritional yeast
handful thyme leaves
2 large cloves of garlic, peeled
Juice of half a lemon
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1-2 tbsp breadcrumbs (optional)
Salt and pepper
Wash and cut the cauliflower into bite size florets. Add to the bowl along with the chopped olives and parsley leaves. Blend the pine nuts, nutritional yeast, thyme, garlic and lemon juice until smooth. With the blender still running drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil for a thick emulsion. Pour the dressing over the cauliflower salad and carefully mix until all is slickly covered in the "cheesy" sauce. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the salad, taste, season and serve.