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Sicilian Cauliflower Salad

Insalata Rinforzata

Cauliflower mixes well with a variety of raw vegetables, especially in this (rinforzata) reinforced salad, so named because even when it is a leftover you can add things from the refrigerator like carrots, leftover peas, asparagus, and so forth to give it new taste nuances.

Serves 6-8


1 medium head cauliflower, outer stems and core removed.

1/2 cup Filippo Berio extra-virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 tbs red wine vinegar

1/2 cup diced green or black oil-cured olives

1/4 cup diced onion

1/2 cup diced sweet red peppers

1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 tbs capers in brine, drained, and minced

1/2 cup diced tomatoes or 1/4 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil

1/2 to 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and well-rinsed

Salt to taste


Have a pot of salted, boiling water ready on the stove

Break the cauliflower into small uniform-size florets. Add them to the boiling water and cook 1 minute. Drain well and transfer the florets to a salad bowl.

Add the olive oil, garlic, wine vinegar, olives, onion, peppers, parsley, capers, tomatoes, and chickpeas to the cauliflower. Add salt to taste and toss well.

Cover with plastic wrap and allow the salad to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes. Or make it ahead, refrigerate overnight, and bring to room temperature to serve.

This recipe is from CIAO ITALIA PRONTO by Mary Ann Esposito, published by St. Martin's Press in 2005.


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