Sunday, February 15, 2015

Part Two: Cauliflower Salad with Tomato, Cucumber and Apple

SLO Veg cauliflower and tomatoes combined with apples and cucumber for a new salad version
One would think it might be dangerous to experiment on a new salad with your family, but then, hey, they are family. So they will be guinea pigs...they can deal with it. Well, maybe I will do a test-drive...

We are having our annual family potluck featuring Ukrainian dishes in honor of our mother, who was an American-born Ukrainian. She was much displaced, moving around the country with my Naval officer father in the first third of their marriage, far and away from her family and the Ukrainian community in Philadelphia. They settled in a West Coast town and lived out their days in an area that was unfamiliar with Orthodox customs my mom revered. She did, however, try to recreate some of her ethnic traditions and teach her children about their significance as she remember them. Easter was a major holiday for the Ukrainian Catholics, and much preparation went into the food for the holiday feast.

While my brothers and sisters are making some dishes often made by mother when we were growing up, such as stuffed cabbage rolls, scalloped potatoes and ham, and borscht. I, however, am selecting some dishes from my new cookbook, "The Best of Ukrainian Cuisine", by Bohdan Zahny, to perhaps broaden our depth of food experience in the Ukrainian culture. For this potluck, I have made appetizers: Cod Fish Balls, Tuna dip with rye crackers, and Cauliflower Salad with Tomato, Cucumber and Apple.
I wouldn't have thought to combine apples and tomatoes, but in this salad, it works

First, I chopped up two apples
Then I sliced cucumbers into quarter slices
The cookbook doesn't have any photos, and when the recipe says to finely chop the vegetables, I was not sure how fine of a chop it meant. So I just chose to slice and dice the apples into slivers, the cucumbers into quarter slices, and the tomatoes into a small dice. I put the apple slices into the mixing bowl first and squeeze a little lemon juice on it and let it sit while I chopped the cucumbers and tomatoes. Then the cooked cauliflower was broken up into small florets and added to the other vegetables. Next, I mixed up the sweetened sour cream and vinegar dressing. I used white vinegar, because that is what I would use in a coleslaw dressing. But again, I am not sure what specific type of vinegar is typically used in the Ukraine. The only seasoning is salt and pepper.

I didn't weigh the fruit: I just used one head of cauliflower, two medium sized apples, two medium sized tomatoes, and one English cucumber. I didn't peel the apple or cucumber.

The resulting salad was fresh and crunchy, and the dressing was really mild, giving it a clean and healthy feel. I think my daughters will like this salad. We will see what they think at potluck time!

Vegetables prior to adding the dressing
and after the dressing is added

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