You know that when you’re doling out seven amazing courses, and about 80% of the guests are obsessing over the salad, you’re doing something right.
I think it’s because it surprises people for a salad to taste so good. The flavors in this salad work together in a really memorable way.
The Winter Salad Gregg and I served at ABODE for our first tasting menu, shown above, consisted of crispy charred cauliflower, satsuma tangerine segments, baby kale, fresh mint, uncured green olive, a cauliflower stalk puree, and marcona almond vinaigrette.
We make versions of this salad at home all the time, in a much simpler format. To start, we use a lot more kale, so we’re working with a heartier salad. We toss in whole marcona almonds rather than making a vinaigrette, instead opting to dress the salad simply with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and olive oil. We don’t bother with the cauliflower puree, and instead of leaving the tangerine segments out to air-dry for hours (a fun little trick to make them pop in your mouth), we just toss them right in.
Also take note that we use a bit of a different technique with the cauliflower. We like to break it into tiny florets and really drench it in olive oil for maximum flavor and texture.
Hope you enjoy!
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into tiny florets
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for dressing
- Kosher salt
- 1 5-ounce container baby kale
- ½ cup fresh mint leaves
- 4 satsuma tangerines, peeled and segmented
- ½ cup Castelvetrano olives, pitted and sliced
- ⅓ cup marcona almonds
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss cauliflower florets in a bowl with the olive oil. A pool of oil will sink to the bottom; use a rubber spatula to continuously fold the cauliflower into the oil until the cauliflower has absorbed it.
- Spread cauliflower onto a baking sheet in an even layer; season generously with salt. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until crispy and charred on the edges.
- Allow to cool. In a serving bowl, add kale, mint, tangerine segments, olives, almonds, and cauliflower. Squeeze lemon over top along with a healthy drizzle of olive oil and toss to combine. Season to taste.