This crunchy, zesty, brightly-dressed cauliflower salad is a surprising winter delight when the farmers markets are lean and you still want to have a salad or a side that feels light and refreshing.
More a method than a recipe, it relies entirely on a Japanese mandoline slicer to allow you to slice the cauliflower paper thin. But if you don't already have one, get one! It's a kitchen essential!
1/2 large head of cauliflower
1 Meyer lemon
A splash of rice vinegar (optional)
A splash of yuzu juice
6 sprigs of cilantro
6 sprigs of Italian parsley
1/2 tablespoon white sesame seeds
1/2 tablespoon of black sesame seeds
1/2 tablespoon of Tart vinegar preserved lemon paste (or similar)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Pinch of sea salt
Start by setting your mandoline to its finest setting and shave a small shallot. Place the shaved shallot in a bowl and cover with Meyer lemon juice (if using regular lemon, use half lemon juice, half orange juice).
Cut a head of cauliflower in half and reserve one half for another use (unless you're feeding more than 4 people). Cut the half you're using in quarters to make it easier to slice on the mandoline. Adjust the mandoline to be slightly less fine than you were using for the shallot and proceed to (very, very carefully!) slice the cauliflower while rotating it slightly to access all sides.
Remove the flesh from one half of a Meyer lemon and cut the peel into strips and then into a tiny dice (you want little cubes of peel)—if you don't have access to Meyer lemons, skip this and use the zest of half a lemon in the salad instead.
Chop several sprigs apiece of cilantro and Italian parsley and toss into the shaved cauliflower. Add a tablespoon of mixed black and white sesame seeds, the shallots and the lemon juice, the diced peel, preserved lemon paste, rice vinegar, olive oil and salt.
Plate on Raina's platter and allow to sit for ten minutes before serving.