This classic combination of pesto and potatoes is lightened up with irresistible grilled cauliflower in this recipe for Pesto Cauliflower and Potato Salad Salad Samurai by Terry Hope Romero. For a more substantial pesto entrée, replace half or all of the cauliflower with pasta, preferably those tight little twists called gemelli.
Pesto Cauliflower and Potato Salad
CAULIFLOWER POTATO SALAD
- 1/2 pound cauliflower 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 pound waxy yellow or white potatoes, unpeeled
- 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
- 1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts or toasted pine nuts
BASIL PESTO DRESSING
- 1 1/2 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 4 teaspoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Salt and freshly ground black
- pepper to taste
Remove the thick inner stem from the cauliflower, slice into thick 1-inch slabs. Preheat a cast-iron grill pan over high heat. Rub the cauliflower with olive oil and arrange the pieces in a single layer in the preheated pan. Grill the cauliflower until charred on the outside and crisp-tender inside, about 4 to 5 minutes, flipping halfway through. Transfer the cauliflower to a cutting board, chop into bite-size pieces, and place in a large mixing bowl.
Peel and dice the potato into 1⁄2-inch pieces, transfer to a large saucepan, cover with 4 inches of cold water, and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the potatoes for 6 to 8 minutes, or until almost tender. Stir in the peas and cook another minute. Reserve 1⁄4 cup of cooking water, then drain the potatoes and peas and rinse with cold water. Add these vegetables to the cauliflower.
In a food processor, pulse together the pesto ingredients plus 2 table- spoons of the potato cooking water until smooth. Spoon onto the vegetables, add the nuts, and combine thoroughly. Cover and chill for 10 minutes to blend flavors. Serve the salad slightly chilled or at room temperature. Garnish each serving with a few nuts.
From Salad Samurai by Terry Hope Romero. Reprinted with permission from Da Capo Lifelong, © 2014