“Gifted” with another box of Brassicas this week, I was looking for a way to use cauliflower in a fall salad. A new cookbook, Bar Tartine : Techniques and Recipes, gave me the salad I was looking for.
Opened in 2005, Bar Tartine, located in the Mission District of San Francisco is an offshoot of the highly praised San Francisco bakery, Tartine. In addition to doing their own curing, preserving and in-house fermenting, the food draws influences from countries as diverse as Norway, Japan and Hungary.
The cauliflower is broken down into tiny florets, save the rest to make cauliflower “mashed potatoes”. In a bowl with the yogurt dressing, combine the florets with cucumbers, chickpeas and mushrooms. Our garden provided me with the radishes and serrano peppers needed for this salad. I was hesitant to use the two serranos as suggested, ours get quite hot so I went with just one. The yogurt dressing tamed the chiles heat quite a bit.
Resist the urge to roast or blanch the cauliflower before adding it to the salad, if you normally dislike it raw. Marinating small florets in the dressing softens them up considerably without making them mushy. The yogurt dressing is especially good and would work well with other salad combinations.
Bar Tartine Cauliflower Salad
For the dressing
- 1 c Greek style yogurt, regular or low fat
- 5T sunflower oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2T freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1T red wine vinegar
- 1T honey
- 1 1/2t fine grain sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Directions for the dressing
- In a bowl large enough to hold all the salad components, whisk together the yogurt, sunflower oil, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper to taste. If not using immediately, store dressing in an airtight container. Dressing can be made several days ahead.
Ingredients for the salad
- 6-8 c cauliflower, trimmed into tiny florets
- 2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded if necessary, cut into small dice
- 4-5 scallions, cut into 1/4″ rounds
- 1c cooked chickpeas, fresh is best but rinsed well and drained thoroughy if canned.
- 8oz mushrooms, button or shiitake, quartered
- 6-8 radishes, ends trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1 or 2 green serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1/4c sunflower seeds, lightly toasted
- 1/4c each chopped fresh flat leafed parsley, dill and tarragon
Directions for the salad
- Add the cauliflower, cucumbers, scallions, chickpeas, mushrooms, radishes, chilies, sunflower seeds and herbs to the bowl toss lightly and let stand for 15 minutes.
- During this time the vegetables will begin to exude some liquid the cauliflower will soften. Toss again and transfer salad to a bowl. Leftovers should keep for several days, if you can keep them around that long!