Roasted Curry Cauliflower Salad
I have been in a ‘clean out the refrigerator’ mode with our vacation looming. As such, I have been hesitant to buy anything at the grocery store for the past couple of weeks, opting instead to work with what we had on hand. We’ve been having a lot of one-off meals, meaning that there’s enough to feed one person. But I am slowly accomplishing my goal of an empty-ish refrigerator. Often times, I find that the adage ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ is absolutely true in the kitchen. When not pushed to do otherwise, we tend to fall in with our old favorites. This Roasted Curry Cauliflower Salad is the perfect example. I’m not even sure why I had this head of cauliflower in the refrigerator or when I bought it…in all honesty, it’s best day had recently passed. But we were having hamburgers for dinner and I wanted a vegetable in addition to our green salad, so it was kismet.
My mom made chicken curry frequently when I was a child and it remains one of my favorite meal memories. What made the curry special was all the condiments that she would serve alongside the curry; chopped peanuts, scallions, coconut, bacon and chutney. I have no idea whether these condiments are ‘traditional’ to curry, but in my mind chicken curry is not complete without them. To that end, I tried to incorporate some of these condiments in my salad. The saltiness of the peanuts plays off the sweet of the chutney…perfection!
Roasting the cauliflower until just tender, but still crisp is key to this dish. As such, it’s important to keep your florets about the same size as the smaller pieces got a little too soft. Good chutney is another key. I use Major Grey’s, but if you have a favorite or a homemade jar, by all means use that. Another fond food memory is the homemade chutney my mom and grandma would make from the mango trees down the street when we lived in Hawaii. I did have a pretty charmed childhood.
- One large head of cauliflower
- 2 TB curry powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 TB olive oil
- 4 TB chutney
- 2 TB lemon juice
- 2 scallions, sliced
- 1/3 cup chopped peanuts
- Preheat oven to 400'
- Carefully cut your cauliflower into florets, trying to keep the pieces rather uniform in size, about 2"
- Toss the cauliflower florets with the curry powder, cumin and salt and placed on rimmed baking sheet
- Roast for 15 minutes, check for tenderness. Roast until just tender, but not soft. Continue to check every 5 minutes until done.
- When cool, toss with dressing, scallions and peanuts
- Serve immediately or chill in refrigerator
- Using small food processor or emulsifier blend olive oil, chutney and lemon juice until pieces of chutney are chopped up. Some small chunks will still remain and they will be fine, but you want the big pieces to get chopped up enough to contribute to the flavor of the dressing.
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