I’ve tried growing cauliflower in my little vegetable garden. Unfortunately, success has not been mine. I plant my little seedlings with all the hope that comes with a freshly turned section of the garden. I tend and pamper and wait expectantly for those beautiful buds to emerge. But alas, a month or two in, I must dig up my little plants and realize that once again, a cauliflower harvest will not be mine. Not enough water the first year. The second year, the large, lovely leaves became a tasty meal for some critter long before the firm head could even appear. I have since learned that cauliflower is one of the more finicky of all the cabbage family crops (which include kale, brussels sprouts and of course broccoli). They need consistent water, however if the head sits in a puddle of water, they will rot. They like sun, but will bolt if the weather gets too warm. They need protection from pests. Thank goodness for the Farmer’s Market!! This weekend I could choose between heads that were white, yellow and light green with turret shaped curds. One of my favorite ways to cook cauliflower is baked in a nutty, creamy cheese sauce… lusciously decadant! Another is to roast with other root vegetables. I developed this salad that transforms roasted cauliflower into a simple delicious side to any meal. Bon Appetit
This salad provides tasty side dish that combines salty, sweet and sour.
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons raisins
1 tablespoon white vinegar
4 cups cauliflower, cut into florets (I had a combination of white and romanesci)
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon mint, chopped
½ cup olive oil
½ cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
salt, to taste
Roast the walnuts in a dry saute pan until lightly browned. Remove and set aside.
Place raisins in a small bowl. Add vinegar and enough hot water to cover. Let raisins plump while cauliflower cooks.
When the walnuts are done, add olive oil and 1 tablespoon of water to the pan, saute the cauliflower florets until lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute. When done cooking, remove cauliflower from pan and place in mixing bowl. Mix in the walnuts and raisins.
While the cauliflower is cooking whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard and salt. pour the dressing over the cauliflower mixture and mix well. Sprinkle parsley and mint over the salad, mix together and place in a serving bowl. Let sit at room temperature for about an hour until ready to serve.