Citrusy Cauliflower Kale Salad
Another really delicious summer salad to try is this Citrusy Cauliflower Kale Salad. I’ve started to love kale salad in the past year and have made a few really good kale salad recipes. This one is a little different because it calls for a technique called salt-curing or salt block cooking, in which foods can be prepared on Himalayan Salt Blocks. There is a book available by a guy named Mark Bitterman that teaches this technique a little better called Salt Block Cooking: 70 Recipes for Grilling, Chilling, Searing, and Serving on Himalayan Salt Blocks. I’ll be learning a little more about the process and filling you all in.
You can probably get away with not using the salt-curing technique for this recipe, but I’m told the addition of salt-cured lemon slices can elevate this recipe from bland to grand. The bright, briny flavor of the preserved lemon adds a fresh burst of flavor to an otherwise sedate dish. If you are using the technique, the lemons are really easy to make by pressing fresh lemon slices between 2 Himalayan salt blocks. Allow 2 days for the salt blocks to work their magic and you will be rewarded with a very tasty treat you’ll reach for again and again.
- 1 small zucchini washed, cut in half and uniformly sliced
- 1 small yellow squash washed, cut in half and uniformly sliced
- 1 head cauliflower washed and trimmed, florets only
- 1 head broccoli washed and trimmed, florets only
- 4 kale leaves stems and ribs removed, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
- 3 T. olive oil
- 12 grape tomatoes washed and cut in half lengthwise
- 6-8 large fresh basil leaves washed, rolled and cut into thin strips
- 4-6 salt-cured organic lemon slices very finely chopped including rinds
- ¼ cup dried cranberries [optional]
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 T. rice vinegar
- 1 T. fresh lemon juice
- 1 t. lemon zest
- 2 t. honey
- 2 t. Dijon mustard
- Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste
In a glass bowl, combine all vinaigrette ingredients and whisk until thoroughly combined. If possible, make in advance to allow the flavors to mingle. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Set aside.
Place zucchini, squash, cauliflower, and broccoli in a large microwave-safe dish and add 2 T. water. Cover and microwave on high for about 5 or 6 minutes, or until crisp tender. Cook times will vary by microwave, so test after 3 minutes and adjust cook time accordingly. Do not overcook. Set aside to cool.
In a large glass bowl, add torn kale and drizzle with olive oil. With your fingers, massage each piece of kale with your fingers until the olive oil is worked into the leaf. This will soften the kale and improve its taste. Add cooled zucchini, squash, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, basil, chopped preserved lemon and cranberries to bowl. Toss to combine. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to two days.
Right before serving, add desired amount of citrus vinaigrette and toss to coat thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste.