Happy New Year, folks ! More veggies and less meat is what I say for 2018! Here's my first platter of salad. A warm salad of crisped cauliflower slices, shallots, rosemary, garlic, red pepper flakes, orange zest, flat leaf parsley, toasted hazelnuts, and a drizzle of olive oil and orange juice over top to finish it.
This is a riff on a salad recipe I saw on the NYT cooking site ... a girl makes do with what she has in her kitchen. I'm happy with my substitutes and additions to David Tanis's recipe. The key to this salad is in the little additions that make for big flavour. Another important thing to remember when crisping the cauliflower is to use minimal oil and don't crowd the pan. The pan must be large enough that you can let the slices lay on their sides without being crowded out ... this helps get that nice golden brown crisping. Oh, and DO toast the hazelnuts with a bit of butter and Kosher salt for a nice browned butter flavour.
Here's how I made this salad ... enjoy the new cooking year everyone! Here's to some new and healthy dishes !
Crisped Cauliflower Salad with Citrus and Aromatics
Serves 3 - 4
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium head of cauliflower, quartered, cord, and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1 small shallot, small dice
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp. fresh rosemary, leaves stripped from stem and minced
1 large garlic clove, peeled and minced
zest from half a medium sized orange
a large handful of flat leaf parsley, washed and coarsely chopped (take out any big stems)
1/3 c. chopped hazelnuts, toasted with a small dollop of butter and a pinch of Kosher salt
orange slices from the other half of the orange
drizzle of olive oil
1. Prepare the cauliflower and the have ready by a large fry pan.
2. Heat the pan and olive oil measure over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add the cauliflower chunks. Leave any little crumbles for adding later when the bigger chunks are golden .
3. Let the cauliflower begin to crisp up while you prep the aromatics - rosemary, garlic, red pepper flakes, and orange zest.
4. When the cauliflower has been tossed and crisped on its sides, add the crumbles and the chopped shallot and finish the cooking ... when the cauliflower is tender crisp, add the aromatics and toss to distribute throughout the cauliflower. Turn the heat down and let the aromatics do their thing for a few minutes.
5. Prep the hazelnuts and toast in a small fry pan. Toss into the cauliflower with the parsley.
6. Drizzle the salad with juice from a couple slices of orange and some olive oil.
7. Serve while still warm.
Note: This pan is crowded ... but that cauliflower is so pretty ! I ended up taking half of the veg out so I could get a good crisp going when the pan was hot. Note the thickness of the slices ... yum !