Sicilian Cauliflower Salad is super easy and made with simple pantry ingredients you may already have on hand.
The thing that I love most about Italian food and cooking is that hardly anything ever goes to waste. The Italians find creative ways to make everything stretch! This salad is inspired by the Italian “reinforcement salad” which exemplifies that no-waste philosophy!
What is Sicilian Cauliflower Salad?
Sicilian Cauliflower Salad (or Insalata Rinforzata as this salad is inspired by) is often served at Christmastime in southern Italy and Sicily. I think it’s perfect at any time of the year and especially now because you can make it with things you may already have in your pantry. Best of all, it holds beautifully!
In the “old days,” it was customary to make this type of salad as an antipasto and then as the holiday season went on, additional vegetables or condiments would be added.
This version is inspired by Mary Ann Esposito of Ciao Italia on PBS who says that if any is leftover you can add things from your refrigerator like carrots or asparagus to give it new taste nuances.
No matter what you call it, I call it delicious!
How to make Sicilian Cauliflower Salad:
- Make a simple vinaigrette of olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and garlic.
- Cut a large head of cauliflower into bite-sized florets.
- Blanch the florets in salted boiling water for approximately 1 minute.
- Transfer the hot cauliflower florets to a large mixing bowl then pour the vinaigrette over the cauliflower.
- Give it a stir so that all the cauliflower is evenly coated with the vinaigrette and it “marinates” as it cools to room temperature.
- Add the other ingredients:
- Diced red onion
- Diced roasted red bell pepper
- Halved kalamata olives
- Diced sun-dried tomatoes
- Chopped fresh parsley
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- Stir and that’s it! Adjust to your taste with salt, pepper or a little extra vinegar or lemon juice.
So good… and the perfect salad to make with all those pantry ingredients you have! You could also add:
- Canned tuna
- Pepperoncini or cherry peppers
More cauliflower salads you’re sure to love!
- Cauliflower Antipasto Salad
- Cauliflower Artichoke Tabbouleh
- Warm Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad
- Cauliflower Tabouli with Lemon Tahini Dressing and Feta Cheese
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- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar, or more to taste
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (approximately 1 large lemon)
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into small florets (7-8 cups)
- ½ large red onion, finely chopped (approximately 1 cup)
- 1 jar (12-ounce) roasted red peppers in olive oil and garlic, drained and chopped
- ½ cup halved Kalamata olives
- 5 sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained and chopped (approximately ¼ cup)
- ¼ cup capers in brine, drained
- 1 can (15-ounce) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic and salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste in a large bowl.
- Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil.
- Drop the cauliflower florets into the boiling water and cook 1 minute. Drain well.
- Transfer the blanched cauliflower florets to the bowl with the vinaigrette. Toss to coat with the vinaigrette and let cool.
- When cooled to room temperature, add the next 8 ingredients (red onion to crushed red pepper flakes). Stir to combine.
- Adjust seasoning with salt, black pepper and additional red wine vinegar if desired.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 279Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 333mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gProtein: 4g
The nutritional information above is computer-generated and only an estimate. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.