Post Thanksgiving Lighter Cooking

fall-salad-of-roasted-cauliflower-grapes-and-red-onionThis year I didn’t get to make rich turkey stock or use the leftover bird in my After- Thanksgiving Turkey, Sweet Potato, and Bacon Chowder (from my new Soup Nights). If you follow me on Facebook, you know that our family’s wonderful shelter dog, Oxford, decided to treat himself to a midnight snack of surplus turkey that was unwisely set out on the kitchen counter!

So, instead of turkey sandwiches and soups, I’ve turned to other post-holiday fare this week. One dish in particular—a salad prepared with roasted cauliflower florets, red grapes, and red onions tossed in an unusual curry vinaigrette— turned out to be a real winner.

A small amount of curry powder and a hint of maple syrup enliven the classic vinaigrette, giving it extra pop. And, it addition to the greens (both arugula and mache work well), the golden roasted cauliflower florets and red grapes add visual punches, while shaved Pecorino and toasted nuts offer creaminess and crunch respectively.

Serve this salad with leftover turkey sandwiches or with a cup of your favorite turkey soup for a light, but I promise, very satisfying post-holiday treat.


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Late Fall Salad with Roasted Cauliflower, Grapes, and Red Onions

Curry Vinaigrette
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
3/4 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp grainy Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp kosher salt
3 tbsp olive oil plus extra if needed

2 cups cauliflower florets
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
!/2 cup red seedless grapes, halved
4 cups arugula or mache
1/3 cup toasted and coarsely chopped walnuts
4 oz piece Pecorino Romano or sharp white cheddar, shaved

1. For the curry vinaigrette, in a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, curry powder, maple syrup, mustard, salt, and olive oil until well blended. If dressing seems too thick, whisk in 1 to 2 teaspoons extra oil. (Dressing can be prepared 2 hours ahead; leave covered at room temperature and whisk well before using.)

2. For the salad, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spread the cauliflower florets on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Season the florets with salt and pepper. Roast, stirring every 5 minutes, until lightly browned and tender, 15 minutes or longer. Cool on the pan for 10 minutes. (Florets can be roasted 2 hours ahead; cover and leave at room temperature.)

3. To assemble salad, place the florets, onion, and grapes in a salad bowl and toss to coat well with the dressing. Add the arugula or mache and toss again to coat the leaves lightly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mound the salad on four salad plates and garnish each serving with a sprinkle of walnuts and shaved cheese. Serves 4.

Note: To toast walnuts, spread them on a rimmed baking sheet and place in a preheated 350° F oven until lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Watch carefully so nuts do not burn. Remove and cool.

Copyright Betty Rosbottom 2016

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