The other day I saw a salad in a deli display with peas and cheese and crunchy things. It got me thinking about deli salads and summertime and all the wonderful fresh veggies that are available. I started going through the fridge looking for a combination of textures that would be reminiscent of potato salad without using potatoes. For the most part, I am happy to use nutrient dense sweet potatoes (as in this German Potato Salad – so good!), but sometimes I really want a bunch of non-starchy vegetables that make me FEEL like I’m eating potatoes.
In comes the chameleon of vegetables that transforms itself into just about anything you’d like. If you use frozen cauliflower florets, you don’t even have to cook them. They’ve been blanched already so, once defrosted, they have a soft crunch that I really like. Perhaps even more important, frozen cauliflower doesn’t make a mess! This salad combines crunch from the cauliflower, celery, and bell pepper with tenderness from the hard-boiled egg and olives. Add a little brininess from the pickle and an indescribably addictive background note from smoked paprika, and this salad is a winner at any table! My husband gave it several mumbled “Mmm…mmms…,” so I think it’s a keeper.
1 12 oz. bag of frozen cauliflower florets
2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
4 baby bell peppers, sliced into thin rounds
1/2 c. snap peas, sliced on the diagonal
3 small pickle spears, chopped
2 scallions, finely chopped
10 black olives, sliced
1/4 c. parsley, minced
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
3/4 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
1/4 c. Paleo mayo
2 tsp. white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
a couple dashes of hot sauce (like Tabasco)
pinch of salt
1) Start by mixing all the ingredients for the dressing in the bottom of the salad bowl. Set aside.
2) Drop each vegetable (everything but the egg), chopped or sliced, into the bowl with the dressing. Mix well. Then add the chopped egg and mix gently.
3) Let sit for 15-20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Taste to adjust seasoning and enjoy.