Italian Style Roasted Cauliflower and Red Pepper Salad

Roasted Cauliflower and Red Pepper Salad

Here’s a delicious dish to make with your Homemade Roasted Red Bell Peppers, and you’re in luck because it’s another recipe I’ve sneakily stolen from my Neapolitan Culinary Whiz, Tina.

Also take note: the Italian flag colors are proudly on display in this salad, in case you doubted its authenticity.

Tina serves this dish with a variety of entrées, and I’m always excited when she does. The sweetness of the roasted peppers perfeclty balances the tart tang of the capers and vinegar and savory goodness of the roasted cauliflower.

Tina steams her cauliflower, but I like to broil mine in the oven for about 15 minutes. I love to broil vegetables. It’s quick, and broiling intensifies the veg’s natural flavors without losing precious nutrients in water. After all, flavor = nutrients.

Ever noticed the green water after you’ve steamed broccoli or green beans? Say hello to the nutrients you steamed right out of those vegetables. Or, rather, goodbye.

Plus, I love those few crispy black bits you get when broiling anything. Call me crazy.

Ingredients

1 head cauliflower, chopped
2 or 3 roasted red peppers
3 tablespoons capers
2 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or to taste)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or to taste)
salt
pepper

Chop the cauliflower into medium and small pieces. Lay on a cookie sheet, drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle over a little salt and slide into a piping hot oven on broil. My oven broils at roughly 550F (285C). Estimate about 15 minutes cooking time, but keep an eye on it to avoid burning. It’s done when it’s soft, or you could leave it in a minute or two longer to get those delicious blackened bits.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the finely minced garlic, capers, olive oil and vinegar, then stir in the roasted peppers.

When the cauliflower is done, allow it to cool then add it to the marinade and toss to thoroughly coat. Taste for salt and pepper, then add a little more of whatever you like the best: capers, peppers, garlic, olive oil, vinegar… You could also add sweet peppers, fresh olives, basil, anchovy fillets… Oh the possibilities!

Ideally allow the salad to marinate for at least an hour, then serve either cold or at room temperature.

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9 thoughts on “Italian Style Roasted Cauliflower and Red Pepper Salad

  1. Totally agree with about steaming or, even worse, boiling certain veg. Although, that cooking liquor could be used in wonderful white sauces. Who’s gonna bother?? Sometimes I like to do the North African thing of frying small florets of cauliflower in about 1 inch of medium hot oil until golden (roasting is healthier). So tasty in something like salad or to dress a cauliflower soup.

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