Dinner Party Salad: Cauliflower on Arugula w/ Bacon
This recipe comes via my friend Noel. He is like my own personal food reviewer.
He has a zillion cookbooks and always tries out recipes before I do.
Is it GREAT? just OK? or DON'T BOTHER. I rely on his reviews before I jump in.
He recently served this salad at a dinner party and everyone raved.
I tried it for myself and this salad is a 10. It's good enough for lunch, and nice enough for a first course at your next dinner party. It's a hit.
I changed the recipe a bit by using roasted cauliflower instead of blanched, (because I made some roasted cauliflower last night!).
I also soaked the shallots in the vinaigrette to get rid of the bite and plated it just before serving. I used a little less butter than the recipe called for too.
You can be flexible with this recipe, by adding a bit more of this or that, because I think it's the butter, honey and vinegar that makes the cauliflower mouth smacking delicious (and the bacon doesn't hurt either!).
Cauliflower & Arugula Salad: (adapted from Chuck Hughes)
6 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
1 head cauliflower, trimmed, cut into small pieces and blanched or roasted
1/4 cup butter (I used only 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon honey
1 tbsp red wine vinegar to splash in the pan
4 cups arugula
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbs olive oil
1 shallot, minced
Whisk the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, letting the shallot sit in the dressing, while you put the rest of the salad together.
Fry up your bacon lardons until crisp. Drain on a paper towel and set aside.
Wipe out the oil in the skillet and add the butter. On medium-low heat, add the teaspoon of honey, the tbsp of red wine vinegar to the butter and the cauliflower pieces.
Toss the cauliflower until it is coated with this yummy glaze, about 5 minutes if you are using blanched cauliflower so it gets browned, 2 minutes if you are using roasted cauliflower.
On individual plates, lay out the arugula and bacon and drizzle with the dressing.
Spoon some of the glazed cauliflower on top of each salad and sprinkle w/ pine nuts.
Season w/ sea salt and pepper if you like.
PS and a happy birthday to my wonderful taste tester husband! He's the B-E-S-T!