This vegan cauliflower recipe is a big hit at summer gatherings. Cauliflower is a versatile vegetable in that it can be used in many different ways. I have been using it as a replacement for rice for my Paleo clients and it also makes a great cheesy gratin instead of using potatoes. This is a cold salad and uses tofu as the base for the non-dairy, vegan dressing. I use soy products sparingly when preparing vegetarian dishes as I like to have the protein come from legumes and beans. But variety is nice and when making dairy-free creamy dressings, silken tofu comes in handy. This is a great summer-time recipe and shows off the sweetness of the cauliflower.
Cauliflower Salad with Dairy-Free Dill Dressing
This vegan cauliflower recipe is a big hit at summer gatherings. Cauliflower is a versatile vegetable in that it can be used in many different ways. I have been using it as a replacement for rice for my Paleo clients and it also makes a great cheesy gratin instead of using potatoes.
- 1 12oz package silken firm tofu
- 1 small-medium clove garlic
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 tsp sea salt
- Fresh dill, about 2 Tbsp chopped
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (the juice from about 1–2 lemons)
- 1 large head cauliflower
- 1 small red bell pepper, small dice, about 1/2 cup (save a little to garnish the salad)
- 1/4 cup minced red onion
- Salt and fresh ground pepper
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add silken tofu to the pot and let water come back to a boil then simmer for 3 minutes. (This helps to make the tofu easier to digest and improves the flavor slightly as this is going to be eaten raw.) Strain the tofu with a fine mesh strainer.
- Place garlic in a food processor and process to break up the clove. Add blanched tofu, olive oil, mustard, salt, dill and lemon juice. Process until smooth. Pour into a bowl and set in the fridge to let the flavors develop.
(Do not wash the bowl of the food processor!! You are going to process the cauliflower next and all the flavor doesnt have to go to waste.
- Place a medium pot of water over high heat. Trim the cauliflower into small florets, about 1 to 2 inches big, discarding the stem. Once the water comes to a boil, add the cauliflower and blanch for 5 to 8 minutes, until a fork pierces easily, but the cauliflower is still firm. Strain and rinse under cold water to cool the cauliflower and stop the cooking process. Shake firmly to remove as much water as possible.
- Place ½ of the cauliflower into the food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped, but still chunky. Place in a large mixing bowl. Repeat with remaining half until all the cauliflower has been processed.
- Add red bell pepper to the bowl along with the red onion, about half the dressing, and sprinkle with a little salt and 4 to 5 turns fresh pepper. Stir to mix well. Now you can adjust the salad to be as creamy as you like by adding in more of the dressing until it is the consistency you desire. Sometime I used all the dressing and sometimes there is a little left over.
- Adjust seasonings to taste, and serve.
**Reserve a little minced onion or bell pepper for garnishing
Letting the dill dressing sit for awhile helps the flavors to develop. Mix the salad, cover and place in the refrigerator for an hour or so. Then taste it again before serving. It will be easier to know whether you want more lemon or salt after it has had a chance to sit. Wait to garnish the salad until you know you love it!
Cauliflower? This'll be a first time for me!