Cauliflower and Nectarine Salad with Toasted Nuts and White Balsamic Dressing

It has been a while friends and I am so sorry for that! The last couple months were filled with craziness from going on vacation, studying for a test, wedding plans, and serving my clients best! My blogging came last to all of those, but don't worry! I see a lot more recipes and posts coming your way! 

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In August, we made a trip to Portland to view the Solar Eclipse and I was super excited because I finally got the chance to make reservations at a restaurant I was hearing so much about, Tusk. The restaurant's menu is built upon Middle Eastern flavors and it is "locally sourced, aggressively seasonal" in their own terms. The main takeaway from this meal is that Tusk will make any eater love vegetables and crave vegetables. My own fiance thinks vegetables are a waste of time and he turned to me and said this meal was the best he has ever had and didn't even care about the meat! Obviously, I was totally in love with the whole experience. If that moment was a person, I would marry it. 

We enjoyed many dishes including their hummus, homemade bread, chicken and lamb kebabs, a vegetable platter with herb dip, and an awesome cauliflower plate that this recipe is inspired by. The dish we had used stone fruit as does this recipe, but since we are coming up to Fall, I think apple or persimmon would work fantastically in this as well. 

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This recipe is amazing and just kept getting better as the days went on. I would say day 2-3 are the best since it allows the cauliflower to marinate in the white balsamic. So delish! The sheep's milk gouda rounds out the dish with a creaminess that pairs so well with the crunchy, tangy vegetables. 

There are a few ways you could make this recipe with different fruits and herbs. Here are my thoughts. Instead of nectarine and cilantro, add in:

  • Green apple, and dill 
  • Persimmon and sage 
  • Pink lady apple and lovage 
  • Bell peppers and cilantro 

recipe (serves 5): 

ingredients: 

-1 large head of purple cauliflower, around 4 cups 

-1/2 cup Padron peppers, chopped  

-1 nectarine, chopped 

-1 cup red onion, julienned

-1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped 

-2 oz. (30 grams) shaved sheep's milk gouda *Can omit for less fat and dairy free. 

For the dressing:

-2 fluid ounces  white balsamic vinegar 

-3 fluid ounces avocado oil 

-1 tsp. salt

-1 tsp. onion salt 

-.5 oz. manuka raw honey *I used Wedderspoon

For the toasted nut and seed mix: 

-1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

-1/4 cup Trader Joe's Ancient Grain + Superseed Blend or 1/4 cup mix of quinoa and chia seeds 

-1 Tbsp. avocado oil

-1/4 tsp. cumin 

-1 tsp. everything but the bagel seasoning or sesame seeds 

Directions:

-Start by chopping all of your vegetables and fruit and place in a large bowl: cauliflower, onion, peppers, and nectarine. Top with the cilantro. 

-In a small mason jar, add all of the ingredients for the dressing and shake well. Pour over the salad and mix well. 

-To make the toasted crunchy walnut and seed mix, place a cast iron skillet and place on medium heat. Add the oil and heat to slightly hot. Add the walnuts, super seed mix, and seasonings and mix. Toast for about 4-5 minutes. 

-Let the mix cool to room temperature. Place it on the salad and mix. 

-Top the salad with shaved sheep's milk gouda cheese. 

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 369 calories, 26 grams carb, 29 grams fat, and 8 grams of protein. 

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