I have been in a ‘clean out the refrigerator’ mode with our vacation looming. As such, I have been hesitant to buy anything at the grocery store for the past couple of weeks, opting instead to work with what we had on hand. We’ve been having a lot of one-off meals, meaning that there’s enough to feed one person. But I am slowly accomplishing my goal of an empty-ish refrigerator. Often times, I find that the adage ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ is absolutely true in the kitchen. When not pushed to do otherwise, we tend to fall in with our old favorites. This Roasted Curry Cauliflower Salad is the perfect example. I’m not even sure why I had this head of cauliflower in the refrigerator or when I bought it…in all honesty, it’s best day had recently passed. But we were having hamburgers for dinner and I wanted a vegetable in addition to our green salad, so it was kismet.
My mom made chicken curry frequently when I was a child and it remains one of my favorite meal memories. What made the curry special was all the condiments that she would serve alongside the curry; chopped peanuts, scallions, coconut, bacon and chutney. I have no idea whether these condiments are ‘traditional’ to curry, but in my mind chicken curry is not complete without them. To that end, I tried to incorporate some of these condiments in my salad. The saltiness of the peanuts plays off the sweet of the chutney…perfection!
Roasting the cauliflower until just tender, but still crisp is key to this dish. As such, it’s important to keep your florets about the same size as the smaller pieces got a little too soft. Good chutney is another key. I use Major Grey’s, but if you have a favorite or a homemade jar, by all means use that. Another fond food memory is the homemade chutney my mom and grandma would make from the mango trees down the street when we lived in Hawaii. I did have a pretty charmed childhood.
I hope this salad finds a happy place on your table…enjoy.
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