Gabe told me he had planted Joe’s Garden starts of cheddar cauliflower in his garden, but I didn’t really know what that was. I was not prepared for these yellow surprises and I still can’t get past the reality that they don’t actually taste like the mac and cheese powder packet. They don’t taste like anything but cauliflower and I can’t explain to you how they made them so yellow, but man, do they make a gorgeous salad.
Before we harvested these, I would have assumed that Alice Waters’s recipe for orange cauliflower salad, from The Art of Simple Food II, involved the juice and probably zest of an orange, but no, she is referring to this specimen. If you didn’t grow them and can’t find them at a farmer’s market, regular white cauliflower and, as you see, even a combination of broccoli will do just as well. One hour from garden to table, this was a proud contribution to the annual Lummi Island pig roast pot luck.
Orange Cauliflower Salad with Fried Capers and Rocket
From The Art of Simple Food II
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Soak in a bowl of cold water for 15 minutes:
- 2 tablespoons salt-cured capers
Remove the outer leaves from:
- 1 head of orange cauliflower
Cut in half, remove the core, and separate into florets. Place in a bowl and toss with:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Sea salt
Spread on a baking sheet and roast until soft and caramelized, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Make the dressing. Mix together:
- 1 medium shallot, diced fine
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Sea salt
- Freshly-ground black pepper
Let sit for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to marry. Whisk in:
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Taste for salt and acid and adjust as needed. Drain the capers and squeeze dry. Heat a small heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Pour in:
- 1/2 inch of olive oil
When the oil is hot, add the capers and fry until the buds have opened. Remove with a slotted spoon to absorbent paper. In a large bowl, mix together the cauliflower and:
- 1 1/2 cups cooked red quinoa
- 2 handfuls of rocket (arugula)
- Sea salt
- A pinch of pepper
Pour in the vinaigrette and mix carefully. Arrange on a large plate and sprinkle the fried capers over the top.