This Italian Deli Cauliflower Salad recipe is so fast and easy. It gets better as it sits and is perfect as leftovers for days on end. Take a stroll around your favourite Italian deli to see what you can find to make this salad your own.
This is what I like to call a marinated salad. Everything soaks up the vinaigrette as it sits. It turns into a delicious, mildly "pickled" taste which works perfectly as a side dish to all your favorite grilled or roasted meats, poultry, fish or tofu. It's also a perfect meal in itself.
What you need to make this salad
- Salami or Salameti
- Your favorite semi-soft Italian cheese such as Fontina, Mozzarella, Provolone. Feel free to also use Havarti, Cheddar or any other fave semi-soft cheese.
- Green olives
- Pickled pepperoncini
- Fresh parsley
- Vinaigrette (recipe below) Extra virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, salt and pepper.
How to make this recipe
- Prepare the vinaigrette by shaking all ingredients in a glass jar or whisking in a bowl. Portion out 1/2 cup of vinaigrette for the salad. Set aside. Store the rest in the fridge to use on any salad.
- Cut the cauliflower into bite sized pieces. For a photo tutorial of an easy way to do this check out this post: ROASTED CAULIFLOWER AND LEEK FRITTATA
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Blanch the cauliflower for 1-2 minutes or until is is softened but still has a bite to it.
- Drain and place in a large bowl.
- While still hot, pour reserved vinaigrette over cauliflower. Stir to combine.
- Chop the rest of the ingredients. Add all but the cheese and parsley to the still warm cauliflower. Stir to combine.
- Let sit until cooled, stirring occasionally. Add the cheese and parsley. Stir. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary. I find that with all the salty bits in this salad it needs little to no extra salt. But that's a personal preference.
- Use broccoli instead of cauliflower
- Add extra vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini, red onion, artichoke hearts, marinated mushrooms, spinach, kale etc. Get creative!
- Use any kind of cheese you like. I prefer a semi-soft mild cheese. It doesn't break apart and also can absorb some of the vinaigrette so it becomes marinated. But feel free to use any cheese you like.
- Make it vegan by omitting the salami and cheese. Or use a vegan cheese. You can bump up the vegetables to take their place.
This salad only gets better with age so it's a great make-ahead recipe. Keep it covered in the fridge for up to a week.
More salad recipes for you to try
- ROASTED BROCCOLI SALAD WITH CREAMY CURRY DRESSING
- SHAVED ASPARAGUS SALAD WITH CREAMY PARMESAN DRESSING
- GREEK CHICKPEA SALAD
- BLACK RICE SALAD WITH ROASTED VEGETABLES
Italian Deli Cauliflower Salad
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1 cup salami, cubed
- 1 cup cheese, cubed. Havarti, mozzarella, Fontina, Provolone
- 1/2 cup green olives, chopped or sliced
- 1/4 cup pickled pepperoncini, chopped
- 1/4 cup capers, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup Vinaigrette
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 5 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tsp honey
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
- In a bowl or jar, mix together the vinaigrette ingredients. Whisk or shake until well combined. Reserve 1/2 cup for the salad and store the rest in the fridge to use on your fave salads!
- Cut cauliflower into bite sized florettes. Meanwhile bring a pot of water to a boil that will hold all the cauliflower.
- Once the water is boiling, add the cauliflower. Blanch for 1-2 minutes. You want the cauliflower to retain some firmness.
- Drain and place hot cauliflower in a large bowl.
- Pour over 1/2 cup of vinaigrette. Mix to combine.
- Add salami, green olives, pepperoncini and capers. Stir to combine.
- Let cool completely, stirring occasionally.
- Add cheese and parsley. Stir to combine.
- Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to one week.