Monday, September 7, 2009

Cauliflower Salad with Roasted Red Pepper

The Farmer's Market in Ann Arbor is an embarrassment of riches. Other places we've lived you'd be lucky to have 3 or 4 lonely pick-up trucks selling the same tired vegetables to the same grumbling customers every week. But here in AA we have more producers-farmers-vendors than we know what to do with.

I've never been able to come up with an official count, but I'm guessing there are between 40 and 50 vendors selling their self-produced wares. We've got mom and pop types selling homemade jams and jellies. We've got family farms that have been producing and selling for decades. We've got Amish selling everything from pies and breads to vegetables and pork. We may even have a few Druids floating around selling mead, but I never visit the back reaches of the market, so I can't swear to that.

The other thing I notice is the changing colors. In June it's all green as the asparagus sweeps through. Blue and yellow take over as all the berries ripen and the corn grown sufficiently high. In August, from a distance the place looks like a giant collection of nuclear raspberries. Then you get up close and realize it's a sea of tomatoes.

Of course, to me the tomatoes are the first sign of fall. Like Robins in spring, tomatoes are Mother Nature's warning buzzer screaming "Enjoy it while you can; the harvest is just about over".

But today I'm not making anything tomato; today we're making another vegetable that's also a sure sign of impending winter. So what is today's harbinger of weather death? Cauliflower!!!

Wait, wait, don't run away. I know what you're thinking, "No way Crabs, I hate cauliflower". Well I hate it too, but of course SSSal loves it. So we've spent many years trying to come up with good recipes. This recipe is one we just discovered and while it won't turn you into a cauliflower advocate, at least you'll be able to choke it down without too much complaining. So, start thinking winter clothing while you enjoy...

Cauliflower Salad with Roasted Red Pepper
inspired by The Silver Spoon

1 large white cauliflower, cut into flowerets
juice of 1 lemon, strained
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
6 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 roasted red pepper (from a jar is acceptable), drained and chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Pinch of Chili powder
1 teaspoon chopped fresh Oregano + more for garnish
Salt & Pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Place the cauliflower florets into the boiling water and parboil for 6 - minutes, until just tender.

Drain well and set aside.

While the cauliflower is draining, mix together the lemon juice, lemon rind, olive oil, chopped red pepper, chopped garlic, chili powder and oregano. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Place the cauliflower in a large serving bowl. Add the dressing and stir gently to coat. Allow the cauliflower to rest for 1 hour before serving. NOTE: Every 15 minutes or so, gently stir the cauliflower to redistribute the dressing.

This is a very easy recipe and will appeal to the cauliflower hater in most families, (read: Crabby). Prepare it for your next football tailgate.

I'm out crablings, until next time remember, you can do it, you can cook.


recipes2share said...

The market sounds delightful! I made a similar salad with broccoli- for all the same reasons!!

Erica Bracken said...

I have never liked cauliflower, but am willing myself to! This recipe looks delicious and plan to try it very soon!

muzzyblue said...

I finally made it to the market last Saturday, and you're right: it's awe-inspiring. The sights, sounds, tastes...loved it! And many more vendors than I remember seeing in summers past. Picked up some great tomatoes and raspberries! I just wish I lived closer so I could enjoy the market's goods more often.

WineWizardBob said...

You really: really; hate me dont you Crabby?

It's a side dish:; it's football tailgating season;: it's simple as ABC.
A beer,

They got Huckleberries there?