Italian Cauliflower Salad Recipe

Italian Cauliflower Salad

Yield: 4 servings

Preparation: 30 minutes plus marinating time

Insalata de Cavolfiore is gratifying recipe and goes well with roasted meats or as an entree. In Italy you can buy it at many Salumerias (delis), ready to eat. The mild taste of the cauliflower is the ideal canvas to complement some Mediterranean favorites like olives, capers, anchovies, and peppers. Marinating it overnight will allow the flavors mingle and absorb.


  • 1 cauliflower head, about 1 lb (450 g), broken into bite-size florets
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 8 black olives
  • 8 green olives
  • 4 anchovies fillets in oil
  • 2 Tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1 fresh red chile pepper, seeded and finely sliced
  • 1/4 cup (7 g) flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar or mild red wine vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Preheat the broiler.

Cut red pepper lengthwise in the middle and remove the seeds. Brush skin with olive oil. Arrange pepper skin-side up on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Place it under the grill and broil it for about 5 minutes or until skin is blackened all over. Remove pepper from the oven and wrap it in the aluminum foil. Let it steam for 5 minutes or until cool to touch.

While the pepper is steaming, bring water to a boil in a saucepan large enough to hold the cauliflower florets. Add salt. Cook for about 5 minutes or until florets are tender. Drain and run under cold water to arrest cooking. Drain again, and place it on a serving dish.

Open pepper foil package carefully and let steam out. Peel the blackened skin and discard. Slice pepper into strips and scatter it around the cauliflower. Add garlic, olives, anchovies, capers, red chile pepper, and parsley. Whisk olive oil with vinegar salt and pepper. Adjust the quantity of the vinaigrette if necessary as the cauliflower will absorb a great deal of it. Just before serving toss salad again.

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