While I am known in my group of friends to have a relentless sweet tooth (see Exhibit A and room B), I am also a known kale fanatic. As in, I freaking love kale. I’m the only one in our house who ate leafy green. My dad and brother both despise it because of its texture and bitter flavor. They prefer spinach of all things, which, hot, is a bad opinion. I don’t mind spinach in a smoothie for an extra dose of greens, but when it comes to salads and sides, I’m all about the crunchy texture, chewiness, and earthy green flavor. But all great loves still need a little warmth to get things going, and after a few too many boring kale salads over the past few weeks, I was struggling to find a fun way to spice up my routine. of midday salad. Enter: chopped buffalo cauliflower salad.
As a vegetarian I have seen a few recipes here and there for buffalo cauliflower, but I had never tried it myself. After DIYing a buffalo sauce that’s spicy enough to give it a little kick and trying a few different vegetable combinations, I can officially say this is my new favorite salad.
It all starts with the buffalo sauce. It’s spicy and has a bit of heat without going overboard, and it really brings out an otherwise boring cauliflower. All you do for the sauce is add it all to a pot on the stovetop and simmer for a few minutes to get everything mixed, then you can store it in a container when it cools down so it’s ready. to be used when you need it. Toss your cauliflower, roast and voila! Honestly, this cauliflower would be good on its own for a side dish, or even on a cereal bowl. Basically what I’m saying is I really love this buffalo cauliflower.
The dressing is the other star of this salad. Because cauliflower packs a bit of heat, I wanted to mimic the cooling effect of the ranch, which we all know goes so well with buffalo sauce. When it comes to dressings like this, I rarely measure and adjust taste and flavors as needed when mixing. So with a base of tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, honey, a little garlic and a little basil, just mix with a little water, taste and adjust to your taste. as you wish!
For a midday salad, I really wanted to pack the veg here. At least for me, when I skip lunch or just grab a snack, I’m not back in my pantry until an hour later to rummage through the snacks. So to stick to the chopped buffalo salad vibe I used cucumbers, red onion (you can use a shallot or leave out if you have an aversion to raw onions! ), Celery and kale.
Here is what I learned about kale. I don’t like it raw in salads. So what I do is chop it up and then steam it or sauté it for a minute just to bring up that bright green color and then it’s a lot nicer to eat. You can use the massage method if you like, but the flash cooking method is the one I really enjoyed. Top it off with an avocado and chopped walnuts and don’t forget to sprinkle some salt on it! Do you know why restaurant salads always taste better than when you prepare them at home? It’s the salt. Always.
And you know what’s the best part about this salad?
That’s enough for two.
I love that it keeps well (undressed) in the fridge. So I make a whole salad, I keep half in a container for tomorrow’s lunch, then I dress the half that I’m going to eat. Time saving and delicious? Yeah. I am on board.