My inspiration for this shaved cauliflower salad came from Adele’s in Nashville. I only had it once back in the Spring, and I never stopped thinking about it. This is my version based on their very good idea.
At a recent cookout, I needed a side for burgers. I didn’t want any starch, and a salad seemed too formal. No one around here likes mayonnaise based salads (except me). That delicious cauliflower salad came to mind when my friend texted me from Adele’s during brunch. I looked at the ingredients in their on-line menu and went from there.
Watch the Video for Raw Shaved Cauliflower Salad
Now normally I would not make anything with raw cauliflower, because it has no taste, and isn’t pleasant to eat. However once you add a strong vinegar based dressing, pistachios, golden raisins and scallions, it becomes a pretty addicting salad.
Here’s what I Learned about Raw Shaved Cauliflower Salad.
You almost can’t add enough vinegar and you need to let it marinate overnight. If not, it ends up being fairly tasteless. If you can wait or you plan ahead, it’s amazing, especially if you add nuts for crunch, and dried fruit for sweetness and texture. You also needs lots of scallions, and a strong mustardy dressing. I used a ratio of vinegar to oil 1 to 2. Normally I use much less vinegar, but this salad needs a lot of acid. It also needs salt, but add the chopped nuts first (which are salted) before you add too much.
I used a large whole cauliflower and sliced each floret as thinly as possible. I tried both slicing with a knife and a mandolin. The mandolin works better. You can blanch the cauliflower for a few minutes, but if you let it sit overnight in a vinaigrette, it softens it slightly. There will still be a crunch.
As far as nuts, I used chopped, salted pistachios. Harder nuts seem to work better in this salad, and you could also use chopped peanuts or chopped almonds. I added in some red chili flakes for heat.
Shaved Cauliflower Salad stays crunchy and is the perfect side dish to take to a party or pot luck.
I find that people really appreciate healthier choices at parties. This will be added to my list of salads that travel well, that include this Potluck Autumn Kale Salad and this Brussels Sprouts Salad with Raw Beet Pesto.
- 1 head cauliflower
- ½ cup chopped salted pistachios
- ⅓ cup golden raisins
- 2 bunches of scallions
- ½ cup champagne vinaigrette (see recipe below)
- sea salt
- red pepper flakes as needed
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons champagne vinegar (more as needed)
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Cut out the bottom core of cauliflower. Discard
- Slice cauliflower as thin as you can. Mandolin is best, but you can slice with good sharp knife.
- Toss with vinaigrette.You will want the vinegar to be pronounced. I found that the cauliflower doesn't hold the vinegar taste.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add in chile flakes.
- Add golden raisins, chopped scallions, nuts, (reserve some nuts for garnish).
- Infuse olive oil with chopped garlic for 20 minutes.
- Put mustard in a jar and mix well with vinegar.
- Slowly add olive oil. Mix well.
- Add red pepper flakes.
- Season with salt and pepper.
You might also want to add in more nuts, raisins depending on your own taste.
It's important to refrigerate this salad for several hours or overnight to marinate the cauliflower.