Cauliflower and garlic salad (also known as ‘ensalada de coliflor‘) is quintessentially summery, at least it always reminds me of this time of year. This is simple, rustic and good home food, usually served as a side dish or as a starter. The cauliflower florets are boiled or steamed enough for them to go soft but still have some bite. The bulk of the flavour comes from the garlic and the lemon which play together to create an intensity of flavour that is hard to rival with so few ingredients.
One way to cook the garlic is to thinly slice them and cook them over a gently to medium heat. This will caramelise them and make them crispy and crunchy giving a difference in texture to the salad. The garlic needs to be cooked until they go golden, if you over do them then they will end up being bitter. The lemon at the end lifts the whole dish. Cauliflower and garlic salad is usually made as a side dish together with other salads and can be made in advance.
- 400g fresh cauliflower florets
- 3-4 large cloves of garlic
- 100ml milk (can use unsweetened non dairy milk too)
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 0.5 lemon juice
- salt to taste
- Bring water to the boil in a pan together with the milk of your choice and a pinch of salt. This will stop the cauliflower from turning a funny colour and keep it nice and white.
- When the cauliflower is soft but still has some bite, drain and allow the florets to cool.
- When the cauliflower is lukewarm you can proceed to cook the garlic. Start by slicing them thinly in either direction, it doesn’t really matter. You can also dice them as you normally would, this is down to personal preference.
- Heat the oil to a medium heat in a frying pan and start gently frying the garlic in a generous amount of oil. It make take some time but it is best to cook the garlic slowly because it has a tendency to burn very quickly is cooked on a high heat and then it gets bitter and is no good.
- When the slices of garlic are crisp and golden remove from the heat.
- Place the cauliflower on a serving plate or mould. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon on top of the florets and sprinkle some salt.
- Spoon the slices of garlic and oil on top of the florets which will now have all the flavour of the garlic.