By Janet Malowany
Paradoxically, when I began to eat a vegan diet, restricted to non-animal food products, I found myself with more food options. I wanted to try so many new foods. Instead of recreating meat-centric dishes, I explored naturally vegetarian ones from around the globe. Living in Canada, with its multicultural population, meant I had easy access to international ingredients and that is how this salad was born.
If you think you don’t like cauliflower, I urge you to try it simply roasted with salt and pepper. I could easily eat a whole head of cauliflower this way. Fried capers were revolutionary in my kitchen. Perhaps most reminiscent of crusty bacon bits, brined capers explode into crusty flowers at the touch of hot oil. They contrast nicely with pickled currants. Together, they round out this autumn salad of roasted cauliflower, creamy avocado and your favourite leafy greens.
Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Fried Capers and Pickled Currants, Courtesy of Janet Malowany, tastespace.wordpress.com, Toronto
An unusual ingredient, fried capers will bring an explosion of flavour to your mouth!
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
1 large head of cauliflower, cut into large florets
2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil (or other cooking oil)
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1/3 cup (75 mL) sliced almonds, toasted
1 tbsp (15 mL) white wine vinegar
3 tbsp (45 mL) dried currants
2 tbsp (30 mL) capers, soaked in water for 10 minutes, rinsed and drained
8 cups (2 L) mixed greens
2 avocados, pitted, peeled and sliced
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC).
2. In large bowl, toss cauliflower florets with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread on 2 parchment paper–lined baking sheets and roast for 40 minutes, stirring half-way through, until tender.
3. Meanwhile, in small skillet over medium heat, toast almonds, being careful not to burn. Remove from pan and set aside.
4. In small bowl, pour white wine vinegar over currants. Set aside.
5. Using paper towel, dry capers thoroughly.
6. In small skillet over high heat, melt enough coconut oil to coat bottom of pan. Carefully add capers to skillet, taking care not to be spattered with hot oil. Fry capers, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Remove capers to paper towel–lined plate.
7. To serve, top mixed greens with roasted cauliflower, toasted almonds, currants, capers and sliced avocados.
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My name is Janet Malowany; I’m a doctor by day and amateur chef by night. I love creating healthy, delicious foods. In March 2011, I adopted a whole-food vegan diet without refined sugars or flours, and I haven’t looked back. The Taste Space is where I share my favourite recipes.