My favorite way to prepare cauliflower used to be pureeing it, which produced a taste and consistency similar to mashed potatoes, only with much less carbs. But then I roasted cauliflower one night last spring and I couldn’t believe how incredibly good it was. Sweet and nutty and just all around delightful. That’s pretty much how we eat cauliflower nowadays (though pureeing it is still a tasty idea) so I was delighted to come across this recipe in Real Simple’s February issue which included kale and tahini dressing—two things I’m also very fond of. I made this salad for the first time a few weeks back and have been making it weekly since. It is one of the best salads we’ve ever had. Oh my goodness. It holds up as leftovers too and I was only too happy to eat it for lunch the next day. The first time I used the pine nuts that the recipe called for but since then I’ve made it with walnuts or slivered almonds, since I almost never have pine nuts in the pantry. The prep is super simple and the results are amazing. If you’re looking for a new side dish, this is it!
Kale and Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Dressing (adapted from Real Simple February 2013)
1/4 cup pine nuts, walnuts or slivered almonds
1 small head cauliflower (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into florets
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 bunch Tuscan kale (also called dinosaur or lacinato) stemmed and chopped
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the cauliflower with the cayenne, 2 tablespoons of the oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Roast, tossing once, until golden and tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, toast the nuts until fragrant. (This is optional.) In a large bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, 1/3 cup water, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and black pepper (adding more water if necessary, to achieve the consistency of heavy cream). Add the kale, onion, pine nuts, and cauliflower and toss to combine.