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Busy Week

This has been a busy week around our house. We were snowed in on Monday and Tuesday. We got several inches of snow Sunday night and then some rain which turned into ice. Travel was quite treacherous and nearly everything in town was shut down for a couple of days. Nora and I spent some time working on things for her wedding. She made great strides in her planning and I finished up one bridesmaid dress and started on the second. Fortunately our power remained on and we stayed toasty and warm and were able to do some cooking and baking as well.

Here lately just about every time I sit down at the computer my faithful assistant does this:

picture of Kitten on the keys

Have you ever read through a recipe and thought that you probably wouldn't care for it? Well, today I'm going to post a couple of salad recipes that I probably would not have tried if I had just read the recipe. Fortunately I was served both of these unusual salads and discovered that I really liked both of them.

Nora made this Roasted Cauliflower Salad for us a few weeks ago for the first time. She and I made it again last weekend and changed the recipe a little, so I'll post it how we actually made it.

picture of Roasted Cauliflower Salad

Roasted Cauliflower Salad

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
olive oil
small jar of capers, drained and patted dry
2 radicchio, cut into chiffonade (just slice it crosswise into small shreds) (I couldn't find radicchio after looking at two stores, so I used about 1 cup of finely shredded red cabbage--the radicchio was good though)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
3 green onions, sliced
juice of one lemon (about 1/4 cup)

Toss cauliflower with olive oil and salt. Roast at 375 degrees for 30-40 mins. or until well-browned. In the meantime heat a small amount of oil in a skillet and fry the capers for 3-4 mins. Drain on paper towels. After the cauliflower is roasted combine with the capers, radicchio (or red cabbage), parmesan cheese, and green onion. Add lemon juice and more oil and salt if needed to season. This is very tangy and would be good with fish or chicken.

I had a salad similar to this next one at a restaurant recently. I found a recipe on-line and adapted it a bit to make this version.

picture of Macaroni Coleslaw

Macaroni Coleslaw

1 cup dry ditalini pasta (these are small tube-shapes) (you could also use elbow macaroni)
14 oz. coleslaw mix
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
about 1 cup finely chopped cucumber
about 1/2 cup finely chopped green, red, yellow, or orange pepper (I used orange)

3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsps. sugar
2 Tbsps. vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
dash white pepper

Cook pasta according to directions on the box. Drain and rinse with cold water. While the pasta is cooking combine the dressing ingredients in a large bowl. Clean and chop the vegetables and then add them to the dressing along with the pasta. Stir well to combine and chill for at least an hour before serving. Makes about eight servings.

The ditalini is often used in soups.

picture of Ditalini

This makes a very colorful and flavorful salad. We had it tonight with some Easy Beans and Rice.

picture of Mac Slaw Beans

So, if you are looking for a new winter salad recipe you might want to try one of these.


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8 Comments on “Busy Week”

  1. #1 Ann B.
    on Jan 15th, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Call me not too smart – but what exactly are capers? The only time I ever see them listed is in recipes that are usually too “high-brow” for me. 🙂 But your recipes aren’t that way, so maybe I’d better figure out what they are!

  2. #2 Becka
    on Jan 15th, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Ann B., Capers are the buds of a flowering shrub. They are brined or pickled and the used as a flavoring in many Italian dishes. I had never used them until a couple of years ago. I have used them in the Cauliflower Salad and in another recipe on my blog, Olive Salad. The Olive Salad takes a ham sandwich to a whole new level. 🙂

  3. #3 Brenda@Coffeeteabooksandme
    on Jan 19th, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Victoria better not see the above picture, it will give her idea. As if she needs any more inspiration to get into trouble. 😉

  4. #4 Doodie Hutchison
    on Jan 24th, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Is the roasted cauliflower warm or lukewarm when served? I love roasted cauliflower and capers, so this salad sounds scrumptious; just wondering about the temperature!

  5. #5 Becka
    on Jan 24th, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Doodie, we ate the salad when it was lukewarm. I think it would be better warm than cold from the refrigerator because of the olive oil. You could probably do it a little ahead and then warm it up a bit in a skillet or in the microwave.

  6. #6 Melissa
    on Feb 2nd, 2011 at 3:56 am

    Mrs. Loach,

    I would love to make the Macaroni Coleslaw for our church potluck on Sunday, but since I am unable to get the Coleslaw mix here in Romania, I am wondering what it contains? Is it just shredded green and red cabbage, or are there other ingredients? One more question: how was the salad the next day (if you had any leftovers?) I would be making this on Saturday and serving it on Sunday, and it seems to me that macaroni salads usually absorb their dressings and need more the next day. Maybe it would be best to just mix the macaroni with the other vegetables and dressing in the morning?

    Thanks for your help!

  7. #7 Becka
    on Feb 2nd, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    Hi Melissa,

    I must confess that I did not use coleslaw mix when I made the Macaroni Coleslaw because I had some cabbage I needed to use up and I also had some red cabbage leftover from the cauliflower salad I had made a while back. I just added a little of the red cabbage and a little shredded carrot, mostly for color. The macaroni salad actually kept very well for a couple of days in the refrigerator. I agree that macaroni salads do tend to absorb their dressings, but I think since this salad has such a high proportion of vegetables (which can tend to get juicier as they sit) the texture of the salad was good. I think you could easily make it on Saturday for your church potluck. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we did. I am actually planning to make it again this Saturday.

  8. #8 Melissa
    on Feb 3rd, 2011 at 7:12 am

    Thank you so much for your help, Mrs. Loach! I am definitely planning on making this on Satuday, so I’ll think of you. 🙂

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