Loaded Cauliflower Salad
Potluck Dinner Parties; yay or nay?
Some people simply adore them, get crazy excited and start thinking of what dish they will contribute the very second you open your mouth to extend the invite. Others absolutely despise them: inviting them to such an event will leave them wondering what in the world they did to you for you to put them through such torture.
Me? I definitely belong to the first clan: Potluck Dinner Parties are my ultimate favorites. In fact, I’m the kind of person that you really want to have on your guest list. Indeed, I tend to get a bit carried away and often end up going way overboard with my food offerings.
Last time I got invited to such an event, I ended up contributing not one, not two, but FOUR dishes. First on the list was this crazy delicious yet super nutritious Loaded Cauliflower Salad. Then, for some protein, I made a Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin. And since no social gathering would be complete without some kind of a sweet finale, I took the opportunity to revisit my Paleo Date Squares recipe, which I’d been meaning to do for a very long time now, and also too, I tested this almost-illegally-decadent Maple Caramel and Apple Cheesecake recipe that had been taking shape in my mind for the past couple of weeks.
Hey, what can I say? I love to cook but sometimes I get a bit insecure when prepping food for other people. Potlucks are the perfect occasion to share my passion for Paleo food without forcing anyone to actually eat it.
And also too, they’re a dream opportunity for me to bake sweet treats and not end up having to eat them all myself…
But we’ll get back to those treats later because why, of course, I’ll share the recipes!
But for the time being, let’s focus on this dazzling Cauliflower Salad, shall we?
Besides, salad this good might as well be called dessert!
To begin with, you will have to cut the cauliflower into bite sized florets and then cut your carrots into fairly thick slices, maybe just a hair short of 1/4 of an inch.
If you want to get fancy about it, do like I did and use one of those very cool yet inexpensive gadgets called a crinkle cutter.
If your kitchen isn’t equipped with one of these yet, I strongly suggest you rectify that right now. This thing is TONS of fun and only costs a handful of dollars. Seriously. Get one. You’ll thank me for it!
Now that you’re done playing with your crinkle cutter, you’ll want to slightly cook the cauliflower and carrots. Don’t go turning them to mush, though. You just want to basically blanch them so they get a little bit softer and more agreeable to the palate.
My favorite way of doing this is by steaming the veggies for a couple of minutes over salted boiling water, but if you preferred, or if you didn’t have a vegetable steamer, you could also throw them in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes, in a bowl that contains about a quarter of a cup of salted water. Cook until tender but still slightly crunchy.
Then, promptly plunge the cooked vegetables in a bath of ice and cold water, which will stop the cooking process; once the veggies are completely chilled, transfer them to a colander and drain them really well.
When the cauliflower and carrots are nice and dry, place them in a large mixing bowl, and then add the celery, apple dice, toasted almonds, raisins and parsley.
Set that aside for a minute while you work on the dressing. Simply place the ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup and mix well with a whisk until slightly emulsified.
Pour that creamy concoction all over the reserved salad and toss until evenly distributed.
And just like that, your salad is all good and ready to eat, or to be proudly carried to your next Potluck Dinner Party.
In fact, this salad greatly benefits from sitting in the fridge for a few hours and even overnight, so all its beautiful flavors have a chance to fully meld. That fact alone makes it an ideal contender for such gatherings…
Plus, like I said, it’s crazy delicious, so it’ll make all the guests super happy, and you’ll be getting praise galore.
And hey, who doesn’t like that?
Just one thing though… don’t count on there being any leftovers to bring back home or share after the party is over. I’m ready to bet good money that the bowl will have been licked clean long before people are even finished eating.
Loaded Cauliflower Salad
- Steam the cauliflower and carrots over salted boiling water or cook them in the microwave in about a quarter of a cup of slightly salted water for 2-3 minutes, until they are tender but still have a little bit of a crunch. Plunge the cooked vegetables in a bath of ice and cold water to stop the cooking process; once completely chilled, drain them really well.
- Transfer the cauliflower and carrots to a large mixing bowl, and then add the celery, apple dice, toasted almonds, raisins and parsley.
- Make the dressing: place the ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup and mix well with a whisk until slightly emulsified. Pour over the reserved salad and toss until evenly distributed.
- Serve immediately or leave in the fridge for a few hours to allow flavors to develop. This salad will keep for 5 to 6 days in an airtight container.