janet @ the taste space

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Fried Capers and Pickled Currants

In Favourites, Salads on October 16, 2014 at 7:18 AM

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Fried Capers and Pickled Currants

Welcome to my latest obsession: fried capers.

If you have yet to try them yet, try to imagine how they would taste. Crunchy, salty little nibbles. It surprised me how much they taste like popcorn, I kid you not. Combined with the pickled currants (tart and sweet), and the avocado (creamy!), this salad was perfectly balanced. I know I say that a lot here, but this salad rises above its peers. It could possibly be my best salad of the year. I thought my Cali-Coco BLT Salad was the best so far, but this week I switched allegiances. It could possibly usurp the former champion, crowned in 2011: The New Best Salad Ever aka Roasted Garlic Tofu Salad with Cilantro Rice, Black Beans and a Mango Salsa.

I am no stranger to quick pickled dried fruits, but the benefit of pickling dried currants instead of raisins, is that you don’t get the goopy juicy raisins that don’t particularly appeal to me.

My inspiration for this fascinating combination was the ever-fabulous Deb of Smitten Kitchen, although I changed many things, including adding the much maligned leafy greens. I also chose to roast my cauliflower and added the fantastically creamy avocado. I look forward to trying her riced fresh cauliflower in the warmer months. The fried capers? Completely her idea. Her poetic prose made me stock up on capers pronto:

Crispy fried capers are one of my favorite garnishes, ever. They are way more interesting than bacon bits — yes, I said it. When you drop capers (that you’ve patted out on paper towels as best as possible) in a little puddle of oil, magical things happen — their layers curl out and crisp, like the world’s tiniest blooming onion. Like all fried, crunchy things, they don’t keep long under the weight of dressing; I recommend adding them only right before serving. I usually use brined capers for this, but both brined and salt-packed will work.

Um yeah, totally try them out. Please.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Fried Capers and Pickled Currants

I am sharing this with Souper Sundays, Virtual Vegan Potluck and Simple and In Season.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Fried Capers and Pickled Currants
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 large head of cauliflower, cut into large florets
2 tbsp melted oil of choice
salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
3 tbsp dried currants
2 tbsp capers, soaked for 10 minutes, rinsed and drained
2 avocados, sliced
8 cups mixed greens

1. Roast your cauliflower: Preheat oven to 400F. In a large bowl, mix together the cauliflower florets, oil and sprinkle with salt and lemon pepper seasoning. Even space the cauliflower onto 2 silpat-lined  baking trays and roast for 40 minutes, stirring half-way through. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

2. Toast your almonds in a small skillet over medium heat, remove form pan and set aside.

3. In a small bowl, combine white wine vinegar and currants. Set aside until absorbed.

4. Rinse and drain your soaked capers. Dry them very well, on top of a paper towel or clean cloth.

5. Place an even layer of coconut oil in a small skillet over high heat. Add capers and step back as the oil explodes all over the place. Allow the capers to fry, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, around 1 minute. Remove from oil and allow the oil to drain.

6. To serve, plate mixed greens, roasted cauliflower, sliced almonds, currants, capers and avocados. Between mashing the avocado and the juicy currants, I did not feel like this needed a bona fide dressing.

Serves 4.

  1. You had me with fried capers. Plus quick pickling dried fruits? I need to try both of those!!

  2. Well, now I know what to do with at least some of the jar of capers in our pantry! You have to love a hearty salad full of delicious roasted veg, too.

  3. I have to admit that this is one of the weirdest sounding recipes ever… but I like capers. And fried things. Sounds good =)

  4. Definitely need to try this out.

  5. Capers make me happy–friend capers make me swoon. I love the combination of ingredients in this salad and I need to try those pickled currants. Thanks for sharing this with Souper Sundays this week. 😉

  6. I am so going to have to try fried capers now. They sound amazing!

  7. Capers are something I don’t use very often, but I am sure they shine in this dish. I’m also trying to incorporate more avocado into my diet.

  8. […] Roasted Cauliflower Salad by The Taste […]

  9. […] for a minute or two in very hot oil before using them to garnish salads. Um, YES!! That was my latest cooking revelation, too. Crispy capers are marvelous! I need to read through this to uncover more […]

  10. […] Roasted Cauliflower Salad by The Taste […]

  11. […] 4. Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Fried Capers and Pickled Currants […]

  12. […] warming twist with the addition of roasted beets accented by salty fried capers (one of my favourite culinary discoveries last year!) and roasted chickpeas (my addition). I contemplated substituting the bread with the […]

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