Let me introduce you to your new favorite summertime Cauliflower Potato Salad. Before you wrinkle your nose and think there is no way cauliflower can be substituted for potatoes in a good old-fashioned salad, indulge me for just a minute.
When I hear the phrase potato salad, my mind immediately wanders back to my childhood growing up in the north. Summer was a brief two-to-three-month time-period, with days filled outdoors, swimming in frigid lakes, playing in our yard or taking long walks in the woods.
Dinnertime was always much simpler than in the long, gray, snow-filled winter. No stews or heavy pasta dinners, in fact my mother would rarely be caught inside sweating over a hot stove. Our family grilled out a lot, even though it was always on a charcoal grill that somehow lasted for years. Dinners were eaten outside three to four nights a week.
Along with the meat or poultry searing away on the grill, Mom always added simple homemade side dishes: Coleslaw, potato salad, macaroni salad, baked beans and/or some type of fresh vegetable fresh out of the garden completed dinner at home. Out of all of the salads she made, her homemade potato salad was hands-down our family favorite. Over the years neighbors would ask for the recipe and in time, whenever there was a social gathering, the go-to dish Mom would bring was the potato salad. This simple recipe passed down from her to my sister and I and will someday hopefully be enjoyed by our own children.
Now that I live a thousand miles away from the cold northeast (yes, I still miss a good snowstorm) and am firmly planted in Florida, potato salad is a pleasure to eat any time of the year. That is, unless you are cutting carb’s out of your diet as so many of us are doing nowadays. I have to admit, when I first started a keto diet, I had a really hard time wrapping my head around what I “couldn’t” eat. Removing pasta, potatoes and the love of my life, bread, out of my daily meals seemed just plain cruel, to be honest with you. It was only after I started keto that I realized I had to take it upon myself to create recipes that would mimic my favorite foods, or I knew I would fail on my weight loss journey.
Fortunately for all of us dieting together, cauliflower has gained in popularity as the go-to substitute for potatoes and in some cases flour (think cauliflower pizza crust) over the past 10 years. I for one am thrilled with this new way to cook the somewhat boring white vegetable. As a child, the only way we ever ate cauliflower was steamed then drowned in homemade cheese sauce. Personally, I think my mother was trying to disguise the boring mostly mushy white stuff on our plate. Nowadays we can roast florets or slices, saute riced cauliflower to add to a poke bowl or steam and blend into a pizza crust. The options for this once boring and bland vegetable are endless.
Back to my mother’s potato salad. In trying to recreate some of my favorite dishes into low-carb varieties, potato salad was one of the first I attempted. Fortunately for me, by keeping all of her ingredients the same and only replacing the potatoes with roasted cauliflower, the recipe remained practically identical. Here are a few hints to remember while making this recipe. First hint: When roasting the cauliflower, you will end up with different shades of brown (the caramelized parts of the florets) so don’t expect your salad to be the creamy white or yellow we all grew up with as children. And don’t let the color fool you, the deliciousness of this salad remains the same, even though the star of the show has been substituted.
Second hint: The white distilled vinegar is the hidden gem of this recipe. If the recipe tastes too bland I would encourage you to add more vinegar but do it slowly. You want to taste a slight “bite” of the vinegar as you enjoy your salad but not so much that it tastes bitter. Again, as with all of my recipes, personal preference is the key so play with this until you get it to your liking. Regardless how you tweak the recipe, know that your carb consumption is minimal as you enjoy this as a side dish to grilled steaks, burgers or fish. It’s summertime on a plate and it doesn’t get much better!
Your New Favorite Summertime Cauliflower “Potato” Salad
- 1 lb Cauliflower Break off florets then cut if necessary to make bite size pieces.
- 2 Stalks Scallions, sliced
- 2 Carrots, peeled
- 3 Eggs Hardboiled and peeled
- 1 Cup Mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp White Distilled Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchemant paper. Gather all ingredients for the salad.
- Peel back the green leaves on the stem of the head of cauliflower. I find it easiest to then cut the head in half from top to bottom.
- Cut off the largest florets then break them into smaller bite size pieces. You will have some smaller crumbles-those are fine to use too.
- Place all of the cauliflower on the baking sheet. Drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for approximately 30 minutes, turning occasionally so all the sides of the florets are browning nicely.
- While the cauliflower is roasting, in a small pot on the stove hard-boil 3 eggs (See instructions for hard boiling eggs below).
- Slice the scallions and set aside
- Peel then grate two carrots.
- When cauliflower is roasted and nicely light brown, remove from oven to cool. * Note: You don't want the cauliflower to soft so check at the end of the roasting period. Some people prefer the cauliflower with a slight crunch. This is all personal preference.
- Mix in large serving bowl cauliflower, scallions, carrots. Peel then grate into mixture the hardboiled eggs.
- When all ingredients are cool add in the mayonnaise, oil and vinegar. Vinegar is to taste so add then sample to make sure it is not too strong.
- Let salad set-up for a few hours so the flavors marry. Salt and pepper to taste.