This is basically a potato salad sans the usual star player. Lately, my family has been dining alfresco and potato salad is a summertime staple for these sorts of settings. Only, it hasn’t been making an appearance because Jon and I have been trying to keep to a low-carb diet (which I’ll admit I’ve broken horribly this past week). Since potato salad is one of my dad’s favorite picnic dishes, and we had a Hollywood Bowl concert/picnic to come, I was determined to find a way to make one we could all enjoy together.
The answer came in a cruciferous crop: cauliflower! One of the most amazingly versatile vegetables that can be used to make mash, “rice,” pizza crust and more can yet again, fill in for a what seems to be an essential ingredient in a traditional recipe. Obviously this is no traditional potato salad, but subbing cauliflower for potatoes makes this one much healthier. Cauliflower has 1/3 (or fewer!) the calories, is low on carbs, and is a great source of vitamin C (antioxidants!), B vitamins (helping you convert food into energy!), and vitamin K (anti-inflammatory!). Research from the Linus Pauling Institute has shown that the glucosinolates in cruciferous vegetables can help eliminate carcinogens and prevent DNA damage that causes cancer – how’s that for a detox?
I thought I was going to write an ode to cauliflower, but found a haiku more appropriate. For one, it’s much shorter. But don’t confuse shorter with simpler–it just means you can get to the recipe more quickly 😉
Potato? Not now
Cauliflower plays hero
In salad sans spud
Not Potato Salad
- 1 large head of cauliflower
- 3 or 4 hardboiled eggs, diced
- 3 strips of bacon, extra crispy please
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- salt + pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ to 1 cup of green onion, chopped (depending on how much you like onion. I love onion)
- Chop/dice your cauliflower into bite-sized pieces (however chunky or fine you like your potato salad). Don’t worry about them looking perfect. Cauliflower can get crumbly and this is TOTALLY OK.
- You will blanch the cauliflower until it’s the consistency of boiled potatoes. Have an ice bath ready. Add the cauliflower to a pot of boiling water and bring it back to a boil. Keep it there for 2-3 min, until the cauliflower is just tender. Check to see if you can stick a fork through a piece easily. If so, drain the cauliflower and get it in the ice bath to stop the cooking!
- While the cauliflower is cooking (or while it’s sitting in the ice bath, up to you), add the mayo, mustard, salt, pepper, and paprika to a large bowl and mix together.
- Add the diced egg and well-drained cauliflower to the large bowl and mix well.
- Add the chopped onion and crumble the bacon on top. If you want to be fancy, you can save some onion and bacon bits for garnish when you serve it. Mix well again.
- Stick in in the fridge for a few hours to let the flavors chill and get to know each other.
- Share your not potato salad (and maybe the above haiku) with friends and family.