CAULIFLOWER, OLIVE, AND ORANGE SALAD

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Its hard to believe its almost June spring has zipped by in a blur of work, friends, trips to CA and Mexico, and more work. It has all been good but it has kept me away from home and far from my kitchen. I did have time on a day off to make this easy cauliflower salad with olive and orange. I love this salad, I discovered it as part of my cookbook book club last summer and loved every bite of it – tangy from the feta and olive while also sweet from the apricot and orange – with the small shreds of cauliflower it reminded me not of a vegetable but of a perfect couscous dish. And so easy – no stove, ready in a flash, and it keeps well for busy days to come. This is also a perfect picnic dish as it keeps well and can sit out.

I’m off on another work trip today but I did have a lovely evening seeing Youssou N’dour last night at BAM and I loved this book and can’t wait for the movie to come out in a few weeks, can I say again how did it become June!

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CAULIFLOWER, OLIVE, AND ORANGE SALAD – adapted from Seven Spoons Cookbook by Tara O’Brady

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower cut into florets 
  • 1/4 cup olives pitted and chopped (I like green olives in this recipe)
  • Fine grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons wine vinegar (red or white)
  • 1 shallot thinly diced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 oranges
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup diced dried apricots (about 10 halves)
  • 1/4 cup sliced roasted almonds
  • Small bunch flat-leaf parsley 
  • A few handfuls of baby arugula

Working in batches, unceremoniously dump cauliflower into the bowl of a food processor fitted with metal  blade. Pulse until the florets have been reduced to the size of rice then tip into a microwavable bowl. Continue until all of the cauliflower is pulsed. You could also these days purchase cauliflower “pre-riced” at most stores although I found the time I made with this cauliflower it didn’t come out as good. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and cook in microwave until tender, but still slightly crisp, carefully stirring once with a fork (this should take approx. 4 – 6 min but you want to make sure not to overcook the cauliflower). 

Fold in the olives, then season lightly with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, pour the vinegar over the shallots. Sprinkle with salt and let sit for a few minutes.  Stir in the olive oil the season with salt and pepper, remember both the olives and feta will be salty so be careful at this stage with salt. If you are cool and can segment oranges this is the time to do this and fold orange segments into the dressing; or sometimes in a rush I just use the juice of the orange in the dressing at this stage. 

Pour most of the dressing over the cauliflower. Fluff with a fork. Fold in feta cheese, apricots, almonds, parsley, and arugula. Add remaining dressing to your liking. Dig in, I usually don’t have the patience to wait for a serving dish, this salad is too good and I am eating it as I fold each ingredient in. 

I hope you enjoy your days and this salad.

Ramona

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05 2016

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