Thursday Night Nicoise Salad

Thursday Night Nicoise Salad
Allow all of your salad stars to shine on their own. Dress each component of your salad individually and pile onto a platter. Simple food is just so darn pretty. Make something like this whatever you have on hand!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Vibrant & Colorful Cauliflower Salad

The bright magenta areas on the deep purple cauliflower are brightened from the acidity in the lemon juice. Vinegar will have the same effect. Lovely.
Bring VIBRANT, amazing, PASSIONATE color to the Easter table this Sunday. I know I ramble about colorful food pretty incessantly, but, how can you not admire and marvel at the vivid and sumptuous beauty of what God has given us on this earth? Let me give you a few steps to an incredibly easy and gorgeous vegetable dish to serve to your family and friends. Very little “cooking” required! I’ll share in just a sec. 

I am usually assigned as the vegetable person for holiday gatherings, right? Joey is the protein guy (meat specialist). He also has taken over making “Auntie Rosie’s Fragun” (I taught him). (The fact that I needed to slip that in makes me a “Credit Head”).  Sharon & Louie always make a beautiful salad. Franki brings something special and different to every occasion. Teri usually hosts but for sure she is always in charge of potato salad for Easter Sunday. She makes kick-butt potato salad, exactly like my Mom’s. One Easter, Teri’s husband, Chuck, complimented me on how delicious my potato salad was. Something to the effect . . . “Wow, Katie, your potato salad is the best! You ALWAYS make great potato salad.” This is where Teri freaks out. Teri had spent HOURS the day before, slaving over 10 pounds of potatoes, onion & celery chopping, etc. etc., in Chuck’s presence, in their home kitchen, while actually having conversations with Chuck. LOL LOL LOL. So, of course, to this day, we always refer to the potato salad as “Katie’s Potato Salad”.

With busy lives and all kinds of demands, some years you bring stuff, some years, you’re lucky just to show up. LOL. Or in my case, you sometimes might show up with a beautiful basket of traditional Italian Easter breads after everyone has already left. Go ahead. Laugh. At my expense. Mom’s always happy to see me. Even if the party’s over. 

This year, Joe & Jules are hosting. Food will be in abundance. Everyone is pitching in and Joe has officially slipped into “Shopping Machine” mode. 

Now for the beauty of this easy and healthy dish. This is just a modification of my cauliflower salad recipe which I have named “Cavolfiore Insalata ala Fioretti”, aka Little Flower Cauliflower. (You can read the original recipe by clicking on the link). There are a few other pictures of cauliflower salads throughout KPK if you poke around a little more. 


Bella Cavolfiore (Beautiful Cauliflower)

One head of cauliflower*, steamed
One or two roasted red peppers
 (jarred is fine), cut into thin strips
2 cloves of fresh garlic, each cut in half
the juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
olive oil (about 1/4 cup)
fresh herbs, finely chopped (if you have them on hand)
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

The ingredients shown above are the basics. 
In the pictured salad, I added some yellow cherry tomatoes, a few grape tomatoes, some thin slices of sweet onion and a few slices of seeded jalapeño. Add whatever you like. The parsley was amazingly fresh and was overnighted to my neighbor, Lucia, from her Texan son’s backyard Italian garden! Oh, also, feel free to serve on lettuce leaves if you like!

*Cauliflower comes in amazing varieties! Purple, golden yellow, white, of course, and gorgeous green broccoflower.

Trim the base from the cauliflower, keeping it whole. Place whole head in a steamer basket. Place in pot. Cover and allow to steam over boiling/simmering water until tender enough to pierce with a fork. Alternatively, simply place whole head of cauliflower in a pot with lightly salted water (about 1” deep). Cover, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Cook until desired tenderness. It doesn’t take long. While you're steaming the cauliflower, cut the peppers into thin strips. Place them in a bowl with the garlic and squeeze in the fresh lemon juice. Add the olive oil, herbs, salt & pepper. Add any additional vegetables you like at this time (optional). Mix together and let the flavors mingle. The garlic will nicely flavor the dressing without overpowering. Arrange the cauliflower on a platter. In the photo, you see that I used Romaine lettuce leaves as a base. Any greens would be beautiful. Or just the plate! Drizzle the pepper strips and dressing onto the hot cauliflower, sprinkle with a little more salt & pepper to taste. Allow to cool to room temperature as the flavors marry. Dazzle your family & friends with healthy COLOR. Serve. Bow gracefully during the applause. Invite everyone to "tuck in".

After enjoying this salad, we marveled at the beauty of the brightly colored dressing on the bottom of the plate.  Right? Honestly, nothing but olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon and and a juicy kiss from Mother Nature. 
Happy Easter to All & Happy Birthday to Franki, Betty (&Liz) & Tammy

Wishing you LOVEcolorful Easter blessings,
Katie






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MORE 4 U

From here, you can continue scrolling down to check out some of my favorite dishes and KPK highlights.

For more posts (articles), recipes, stories and pictures, you can scroll up (in the right column under "What You Missed") and click on 2008, 2009 2010, 2011, 2012 or 2013. As of June, 2013, there are are total of 139 posts in KPK. You can spend more time here when you know where to look, right?! Another way to enjoy my kitchen is to click on any items of interest in the section entitled "Passion Posts", also up above in the right column.

Love, Katie ~ I am so glad you're here! Stay awhile!

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