It has been terribly hot and humid here lately, and I have been doing some canning and freezing. After spending hot time in the kitchen during the day, the last thing I want to do at night is cook. Sadly the other people who share my home don't really care that I don't want to be in the kitchen anymore. Oh it's true, I know we could go out to eat, but after standing over a steaming hot canner it would require another shower, makeup redo, and fresh clothes. It is so much more effort to get ready to go out to eat than to cook something simple at home. (I can take the much needed shower but just toss on some shorts and a tee shirt, hair in a pony tail and no makeup. Much better!)
Consequently, the other night was a throw something on the grill and have salad type night. Unfortunately I had no lettuce but I did have a fresh head of cauliflower, tomatoes from the garden, and an assortment of single veggies in the fridge. Problem solved! To be honest, we plan on having this salad fairly often because we like the crunch and the way it tastes, but mainly I like it because it is so easy to make and can use the odds and ends from the crisper. In this post I am only going to put what was in it, but every time I make it the list of ingredients is slightly altered. The only constant is the dressing, cauliflower, and cornichons.
Whatever Cauliflower Salad
1/2 large cauliflower chopped into bite size pieces
tomatoes ( about 6 cherry tomatoes halved and 1 small tomato chopped in small pieces
1 small cucumber peeled and sliced
1/2 cup chopped Vidalia onions ( any sweet onion or scallions will do)
2 carrots peeled and sliced in "coins"
1 small bell pepper seeded in julienne slices
20 cornichons* chopped ( feel free to substitute traditional dill gerkins)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise (Dukes is the best imho)
1 teaspoon seasoned salt blend like beau monde
Mix together in a small bowl. Pour on to of the cauliflower mixture and stir well so all pieces are coated. Put in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or overnight. Though it is perfectly edible right away it is better the next day.
As I said earlier, you can use whatever you have on hand to make this. On any given day I have used radishes, sliced green beans, olives, sugar snap peas, snow peas, celery, broccoli bits, jalapenos, and even corn kernels. There is no right nor wrong to this salad. It is a hodge-podge of whatever is available. Make this to your taste and use whatever you have or like to eat. This is more of a guide than a recipe, since each time I make it it is different.
If you're in the mood for a "not green salad", give this a try. It just might be something you can add to your food rotation. Even some cauliflower haters find this acceptable.
*Cornichons are small gerkins that are pickled with much less salt than traditional pickles. They are not sweet and have a light citrus taste. I find them locally at Whole Foods on the antipasto bar. They keep almost forever, so I buy a lot and they just sit in the back of the refrigerator waiting for a head of cauliflower to appear.