This classic combination of pesto and potatoes is lightened up with irresistible grilled cauliflower. For a more substantial pesto entrée, replace half or all of the cauliflower with pasta, preferably those tight little twists called gemelli. From Salad Samurai: 100 Cutting-Edge, Ultra-Hearty, Easy-to-Make Salads You Don’t Have to Be Vegan to Love* by Terry Hope Romero. Reprinted courtesy of Da Capo Lifelong Books, ©2014. Photos by Vanessa K. Rees.
Pesto Cauliflower & Potato Salad
- 1 ⁄2 pound cauliflower about 1/2 small or 1/4 medium cauliflower
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 ⁄2 pound waxy yellow or white potatoes unpeeled
- 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
- 1 ⁄4 cup chopped toasted walnuts or toasted pine nuts
Basil Pesto Dressing
- 11 ⁄2 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 4 teaspoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic peeled
- 1 ⁄2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 1 ⁄2 teaspoon salt
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Remove the thick inner stem from the cauliflower, slice into thick 1-inch slabs.
- Preheat a cast-iron grill pan over high heat.
- Rub the cauliflower with olive oil and arrange the pieces in a single layer in the preheated pan.
- Grill the cauliflower until charred on the outside and crisp-tender inside, about 4 to 5 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- Transfer the cauliflower to a cutting board, chop into bite-size pieces, and place in a large mixing bowl.
- Peel and dice the potato into 1⁄2-inch pieces, transfer to a large saucepan, cover with 4 inches of cold water, and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the potatoes for 6 to 8 minutes, or until almost tender.
- Stir in the peas and cook another minute. Reserve 1⁄4 cup of cooking water, then drain the potatoes and peas and rinse with cold water. Add these vegetables to the cauliflower.
- In a food processor, pulse together the pesto ingredients plus 2 tablespoons of the potato cooking water until smooth. Spoon onto the vegetables, add the nuts, and combine thoroughly.
- Cover and chill for 10 minutes to blend flavors. Serve the salad slightly chilled or at room temperature. Garnish each serving with a few nuts.
- See more of VegKitchen’s recipes for potato salads.
- Here are more recipes for cauliflower and broccoli.
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