Friday, October 3, 2014

Cauliflower Salad with Dairy-Free Dill Dressing

I originally posted this recipe in 2012, but have made some updates to the recipe and am sharing it again with you now. 

Cauliflower is a versatile vegetable in that it can be used in many different ways. I have been using it as a replacement for rice for my Paleo clients and it also makes a great cheesy gratin instead of using potatoes. This is a cold salad and uses tofu as the base for the non-dairy dressing.  I use soy products sparingly when preparing vegetarian dishes as I like to have the protein come from legumes and beans. But variety is nice and when making dairy-free creamy dressings, silken tofu comes in handy. This is a great summer-time recipe and shows off the sweetness of the cauliflower. 

1 12oz package silken firm tofu
1 small-medium clove garlic
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tsp sea salt
Fresh dill, about 2 Tbsp chopped

1/4 cup lemon juice (the juice from about 1-2 lemons)
1 large head cauliflower
1 small red bell pepper, small dice, about 1/2 cup (save a little to garnish the salad)
1/4 cup 
minced red onion

Salt and fresh ground pepper

The Salad:
Start heating a medium pot of water over high heat. Cut out the stem of the cauliflower, discard and cut the rest into small florets.  Once water comes to a boil place cauliflower in pot and boil for 5 to 8 minutes. You want it to still be firm and crunchy, but easily pierced with a fork. Drain, rinse under cold water to cool and stop the cooking process, set the colander aside over a plate or bowl to continue draining.

While the cauliflower cools, make the dressing:


Place garlic in a food processor and process until finely chopped. The small amount of garlic may bounce around and not all get chopped, this is ok.  Add tofu, lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, salt and dill. Process until smooth. Pour into a bowl and set aside to let the flavors develop.

Don't wash the processor bowl! Leave it for the cauliflower.

Once the cauliflower is cooled, place a third of it in the bowl of a food processor. Use the pulsing action until it is coarsely chopped. Pour into a medium mixing bowl. Repeat with the remaining florets.  

Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add silken tofu and let water come back to a boil then simmer for 3 minutes. (This helps to make the tofu easier to digest and improves the flavor slightly as this is going to be eaten raw.) Strain the tofu with a fine mesh strainer. 

Cut any remaining large pieces with a knife. Add most of the red bell pepper to the bowl along with the red onion, sprinkle with a little salt and 4 to 5 turns of freshly ground pepper, about half the dressing and stir until mixed. Add more dressing until it is wet, but not soupy. Adjust seasonings to taste.

**Note!  Letting the dill dressing sit for awhile helps the flavors to develop. Mix the salad, cover and place in the refrigerator for an hour or so. Then taste it again before serving. It will be easier to know whether you want more lemon or salt after it has had a chance to sit. Wait to garnish the salad until you know you love it!

Garnish with red bell pepper and a little dill.


1 comment:

Matthew Green said...

Cauliflower? This'll be a first time for me!