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Parmesan cauliflower and parsley salad

Makes 4 servings

    1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest                      
    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice                                
    1/2 teaspoon salt                                              
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper                                      
    1/4 cup extr-virgin olive oil                                  
    6 ounces white mushrooms, thinly sliced                        
    5 cups loosely packed fresh flat leaf parsley (from 2 large bunches
    2 large eggs                                                   
    1/4 teaspoon salt                                              
    1/8 teaspoon black pepper                                      
    20 ounces cauliflower frozen or fresh                          
    2 ounces parmigiano-reggiano cheese, finely grated (2 cups)    
    1/3 cup olive oil                                              

Marinate mushrooms for salad: stir together zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Whisk in oil until combined, then stir in mushrooms and marinate with panfrying cauliflower.  Panfry cauliflower: lightly beat eggs with salt and pepper in a medium bowl.  Add cauliflower and toss until coated well.  Put cheese in a large bowl.  Lift cauliflower out of egg mixture with a slotted spoon and transfer to cheese, tossing to coat.  Heat oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then panfry cauliflower in 3 batches, turning occasionally, until golden on all sides, about 3 minutes per batch.  Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.  Finish salad: add parsley and cauliflower to mushroom mixture, tossing to combine.

Gourmet, May 2006

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