Taking cauliflower and fennel to the next level in this holiday-worthy salad!
It’s no secret that cauliflower is my favorite brassica to cook and eat, and definitely a vegetarian mainstay. Few people are not tempted by the taste of roasted cauliflower, fresh and piping hot from the oven, browned perfectly to caramelized deliciousness.
Today we are working with raw cauliflower, which is an important distinction. Raw cauliflower is not the addictive, can’t-stop-eating delight that is roasted cauli. Not by a long shot. Let’s just say it needs some doctoring up.
This salad is my attempt at turning raw cauliflower into the same temptress as its roasted sister. I accomplished my task first by using a mandoline. In my experience, a mandoline takes a raw vegetable to a higher level. It creates a little drama and mystery. The veggies are sliced so impossibly thin that you are asking yourself what's in here?
I gave the same mandoline treatment to a tangy-sweet Granny Smith apple (the perfect pairing) and a head of fresh fennel. Fennel is another vegetable that when roasted becomes a joy to eat, but raw might be a bit much. Both being white, you might not notice it’s in this salad, so don’t worry about the fennel haters in your life, they likely won’t know it’s there. Mine didn’t.
The rest of the salad is just for show. Parsley for a hit of green. Pomegranates for a shot of antioxidants and gorgeous color. Pistachios for a bit of crunch. I think the pistachios bring a unique flavor to the salad, but you could certainly use walnuts, almonds or even pine nuts.
The salad is tossed in a delicious maple and miso vinaigrette that is better than anything you will buy at the store. But, I say that about all my salad dressings.
I hope you enjoy this festive take on cauliflower and fennel. I think this salad would make a fine side to any holiday meal.
Sliced Cauliflower Salad with Green Apple and Fennel
- 1 head caulilower
- 1-2 fennel bulbs
- 1 pomegranate
- 1 Granny Smith apple
- 1 handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup Pistachios, shelled
- 1 tsp mild miso paste
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 tsp real maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp White balsamic vinegar
- pinch sea salt
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Using a mandoline, thinly slice the cauliflower, apple and fennel bulbs, using the v-blade. I use rubber gloves when doing this to ensure I don't slice off my fingers. Place in large bowl. The cauliflower will fall apart while you are slicing it, that's okay (I roasted these leftover pieces for dinner). Chop the parsley and throw into bowl. Slice the pomegranate in half and place in a bowl of cold water.
- While pom is emersed, remove the seeds right into the water. Pour the water and the seeds into a colander. Toss seeds into the salad. To make the vinagrette, whisk the lemon and the miso paste first until miso dissolves, then add the vinegar, maple syrup, salt and oil. Whisk until well combined. Toss salad with dressing. Serve topped with pistachios.