Cauliflower, green olives, capers, celery, and plenty of fresh parsley are all tossed with a mustard-y sherry vinaigrette to make a salad which will be welcome on any table! And this cold cauliflower salad is definitely welcome on our table. It’s been one of our family favorites for years now. As soon as I see heads of cauliflower show up at the farmer’s market, I snag one and make this salad!
Enter disclaimer text
I’m not sure when I first started making cauliflower and green olive salad, but I do know it’s been one of my daughter’s favorite salads since she was in kindergarten. I’ve even made it for her birthday dinner a few times! That is how much she loves it.
Really, how can you go wrong with a salad good enough for my daughter’s birthday dinner? 🙂
If she were writing this, she would say it should have plenty of olives, never ever forget the capers, and make sure the cauliflower is nice and tender. And I can’t argue with that. Those are all very important parts of the salad.
Notice anything she missed?
Yeah, she is not a fan of celery. As far as she’s concerned, the celery is optional. But I love it and I love the crunch it adds. For her birthday, I skipped the celery, but the rest of the time it stays in.
Though this cold cauliflower salad could go with anything, I love to serve it with Mediterranean or Italian dishes, like Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore, Easy Spinach Manicotti, or Tender Braised Italian Meatballs. Tonight I’m having it with Pan Roasted Chicken Thighs Dijon. (Coming soon to a food blog near you!)
Another thing that’s great about this salad, it that it keeps so well. You can make it a day or two ahead and it’ll still be tasty. If you’re going to make it earlier than the morning of, I might hold off on the parsley. It does get a little less perky after a day. However, I’ve eaten leftovers on many occasions and had no issues with the parsley even after a couple of days.
Not that you need to make it ahead! It’s quick and easy to make and I have no trouble whipping it together while the rest of dinner cooks.
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
- 1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced (about 1/3 cup)
- 4 medium stalks celery, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 cup sliced pitted green olives
- 2 tbsp capers
- 2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
- 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp mustard, such as country dijon
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
Set out a bowl of ice water. Cook the cauliflower in a large pot of well salted water until tender, about 4-5 minutes, then plunge into the ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and blot the cauliflower well with a cloth until dry.
In a large serving bowl, mix together the cauliflower, scallions, celery, olives, capers, and parsley.
Whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the cauliflower and toss to combine. Serve cold or at room temperature.
If you prefer a milder garlic flavor, dip the garlic into the boiling water for the cauliflower for 30 seconds and then either mince or press the garlic for the dressing.
Goya makes Pitted Unstuffed Cocktail Olives.
For sherry vinegar, I couldn't find the brand I had been buying (Napoleon Sherry Vinegar) so I switched to Columela Sherry Vinegar. This vinegar has a really nice mellow flavor and it tastes great in a salad.