How to Cook a Cauliflower Salad

Cauliflower is a domesticated form of the wild cabbage endemic to the Mediterranean region—some sources even claim that it was originally cultivated on the island of Cyprus.

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Cauliflower is a domesticated form of the wild cabbage endemic to the Mediterranean region—some sources even claim that it was originally cultivated on the island of Cyprus. Its florets, usually white, can be eaten raw in salads or with dips. Cauliflower can also be steamed, boiled, baked, or braised. At Mediterraneo, Annabelle’s seaside taverna, our cooks prepare a salad featuring braised cauliflower called ‘kapama’. They begin by frying the cauliflower florets and setting them aside to cool; cooking softens the vegetable and browns its surface. Because cauliflower has a mild taste, it can serve as a backdrop for the interplay of spicy additions. Mediterraneo’s salad includes pickled cucumber, cherry tomato comfit, rings of red onion, and slices of radish. Before plating the dish, the cook prepares a tahini mixture for the base. Tahini paste is first thinned with lemon juice and warm water. Then the mixture is seasoned with grated garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste. The cook coats the middle of a plate with the tahini mixture. Next, the cauliflower florets are mixed with the other vegetables in a bowl; coriander leaves, toasted sesame seeds, olive oil, salt, and pepper are added for seasoning. The salad is served over the bed of tahini. Of course, the cook may get creative and add other ingredients at hand. During a recent visit, for example, the ‘kapama’ salad included chopped parsley and sliced green onions. Try it at Mediterraneo, and you will be inspired to create your own recipe.