Cauliflower can sometimes be bland - but tossed with a few basic ingredients, it can really shine! In this recipe, which takes a shortcut on traditional vegetable marinating techniques, a tangy caper vinaigrette is a marinade for blanched cauliflower. The result is a tasty salad and a great addition to any picnic or party menu. For variation, add olives, scallions, peppers, anchovies, or fresh herbs to the salad. For best flavor, serve at room temperature.
cauliflower, about 2 pounds (cut into 3/4-inch florets)
white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
extra-virgin olive oil
minced fresh flat leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
To make the vinaigrette, combine the shallot and vinegar in a small glass jar and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Add the mustard, oil, capers, and parsley, and shake vigorously to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add the cauliflower florets and cook until they are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Don't let them overcook!
Drain the florets thoroughly and place in a medium bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over the hot florets and marinate at room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving. The salad can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 3 days.