Weekly Winner: An Oddly Alluring Salad

It snowed yesterday.  April 15 in Chicago…. snow and bitterly cold.  Today: windy, sunny but still way too cold for the date on the calendar.  It’s ridiculous, is what it is.  And I’m over it.  I’m also over cold weather lunches — soups, stews, anything hot.  I want a salad but I also still require something to warm me up.

Roasted Cauliflower SaladAwhile ago I found this salad recipe in Chile Pepper Magazine (of all places) and found it intriguing.  Cauliflower and swiss cheese?  Really?  Yes, really.  It is amazing.  I have no idea why it was in Chile Pepper Magazine as it does not offer a modicum of spice, but I now know exactly why it will remain in my salad recipe file.  It works.  There are just a few things I added.  The original recipe has just an olive oil, salt and pepper dressing.  I added a splash of balsamic and I think the sweetness from that adds a lot.  Also the original recipe calls for just a very small amount of spinach on the plate with the cauliflower, cheese, nut mixture on top.  I wanted to make it more of a true salad and added much more spinach and some romaine I had left over.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Walnuts and Swiss Cheese

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 4 Tbsps extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tsps kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 splash balsamic vinegar
  • 8 oz swiss cheese, cubed
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts
  • 4 cups baby spinach or any salad greens

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400. In a bowl, toss together the cauliflower, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Place cauliflower on baking sheet. Roast, tossing occasionally, until tender and golden, 30-35 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk the remaining olive oil with the remaining salt and pepper and a splash of balsamic vinegar.

In a large bowl, toss the salad greens with the cheese, nuts and warm cauliflower. Pour the oil mixture over the salad and toss until well coated.

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