Dear SOS: One of my favorite dishes at M Cafe de Chaya is the curried cauliflower salad. I've yet to encounter such a fresh-tasting salad that makes use of just the right amount of spices and oil. Help!
-- Linda Theung, Santa Monica, Calif.
Dear Linda: M Cafe was happy to share their recipe for this savory salad, which we've adapted here.
> Curried Cauliflower
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons plus 3/4 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
Pinch dry mustard
2 tablespoons ( 1/2 ounce) peeled and julienned fresh ginger
3 heads cauliflower, trimmed and cut into small florets (about 8 cups)
Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, curry powder, salt, cumin, coriander, mustard and ginger. Add the cauliflower florets and toss to combine and evenly coat.
Spread the florets in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast until golden-brown and aromatic, about 20 minutes, tossing every few minutes for even cooking. Remove from heat and cool completely.
> Curried Cauliflower Salad
3 tablespoons agave syrup or honey
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 cups (1 3/4 pounds) Curried cauliflower
1 cup (4 ounces) fresh or previously frozen green peas
1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup (1 ounce) diced dried apricot
1/2 cup (2 ounces) salted or curried cashews
1/2 cup ( 1/4 bunch) chopped fresh cilantro
3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
In a small bowl, whisk together the agave syrup, lemon juice and olive oil to form a finishing syrup. Set aside.
In a large bowl, toss together the cauliflower, peas, bell pepper and apricot. Pour over half of the finishing syrup and toss to combine. Stir in the cashews, cilantro and salt. Taste, adding additional finishing syrup if desired and adjusting the seasoning as needed. Cover and refrigerate a couple of hours to give the flavors time to marry before serving. This makes about 8 cups salad.
Each of 10 servings: 179 calories; 4g protein; 17g carbohydrates; 4g fiber; 12g fat; 2g saturated fat; no cholesterol; 5g sugar; 440mg sodium.