And I have something “just” a little different… a Chopped Cauliflower Salad. I’ve always thought of cauliflower as a winter vegetable – and in fact, this salad is adapted from one designed to provide fresh tasting flavors in the winter. But after making it, it got me thinking that this salad would also be delicious in the summer. Mild flavored with a dense texture, it’s ideal for summer salads since it doesn’t wilt – and with the heat of summer that is definitely a benefit! In this Chopped Cauliflower Salad, the cauliflower is chopped into mini florets and lightly blanched and combined with pearled barley, herbs, shallots, preserved lemons and a dollop of lebne if you like that kind of thing – or burrata if that’s what you have and you’re feeling a little indulgent! It’s chewy, crunchy, creamy and tart….which pretty much covers everything I love in a salad!
The flavors of this Chopped Cauliflower Salad are subtle and clean – which is one of the reasons it’s become a new favorite. I love it with just about anything from the grill -fish, barbequed chicken, ribs, steak… you name it. Sometimes I just grill a little chicken or fish to go with it and call it good – but this Chopped Cauliflower Salad also plays nicely with all the other summer staples – fresh, juicy tomato salads, corn on the cob and grilled summer squash.
You’ll definitely want to make extra since this makes a terrific lunch with whatever grilled leftovers you have!!!
Chopped Cauliflower Salad
- ½ cup pearled or quick cooking barley
- ½ cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs do not use boxed pre made breadcrumbs
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups finely chopped cauliflower
- 1 large shallot minced
- ½ cup celery cut into ¼ inch dice
- ½ cup minced parsley stems and leaves
- 2 Tablespoons fresh mint minced
- ½ preserved lemon minced
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon white pepper
- ½ cup lebne or fresh burrata
- Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Toss breadcrumbs with 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and spread on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool.
- While breadcrumbs are baking, cook barley. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the barley and cook until tender - about 15 - 20 minutes for pearled barley and 10 minutes for quick cooking. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again, and add to a large bowl.
- In the same pot, bring the milk and water to a simmer. Add the cauliflower and cook until just tender - about 3 minutes, drain. Add the cauliflower to the barley along with the shallots, celery, herbs, preserved lemon, lemon juice, white wine vinegar,extra virgin olive oil, salt and white pepper. Toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and serve with the lebne or burrata.