The Year I Learn to Love Cauliflower continues to challenge me, and nothing scares me more than the prospect of raw cauliflower, undisguised by potatoes or hot sauce. Recently I decided to take the plunge, with this salad that pairs the vegetable of the year with creamy white beans, salty feta and crunchy pine nuts. Not a disguise, exactly. More like a distraction, with so much texture that I really didn't concentrate on the cauliflower. If you're a cauliflower lover, adjust the proportion of ingredients to highlight the vegetable. If you're a cheese-a-holic, add more feta. The lemon vinaigrette wraps everything together. The longer it sits, the more tender the cauliflower becomes, thanks to the mustard in the dressing. My husband Ted approved this salad for you; I can't say I'm in love with raw cauliflower, yet, but I'm working on it.
Cauliflower salad with white beans, feta and pine nuts
2 cups roughly chopped cauliflower florets
15-oz can cannellini or small white beans, drained and rinsed
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp Greek seasoning
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup feta, broken into chunks
2 Tbsp roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 Tbsp pine nuts
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cauliflower and white beans.
In a small measuring cup, whisk together the lemon juice, mustard and Greek seasoning. Slowly add the oil, and whisk until the dressing emulsifies. Pour it over the cauliflower and beans, and toss gently to make sure everything is coated. Set aside and allow the cauliflower to marinate for 15 minutes.
Set a small nonstick frying pan on the stove over low heat. Add the pine nuts, and spread them into a single layer. Toast, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes, until the nuts are lightly browned and fragrant. Remove the pan from the heat.
Add the feta and parsley to the cauliflower mixture, and then stir in the nuts. Taste, and season with black pepper if needed.
Serve at room temperature or cold. Can be made a day ahead.
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Pasta with cauliflower, walnuts and feta, from Smitten Kitchen
Edamame and cauliflower pasta salad with feta, from The Kitchn
Chili roasted cauliflower and feta salad, from Bron Marshall
Cauliflower feta fritters, from Anne's Food
Green cauliflower with red onions, feta and pine nuts, from Albion Cooks
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