Cauliflower with Red Pepper Vinaigrette

Preparation info

  • Serves

    6 to 8

    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Mediterranean Kitchen

By Joyce Goldstein

Published 1998

  • About

Another salad for an antipasto platter. For a Spanish variation of this salad, tone down the red pepper flakes and use 2 tablespoons paprika.


  • Salt
  • 2 small heads cauliflower, broken into florets (3 to 4 cups)
  • 1 strip lemon zest
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons dried red pepper flakes
  • Pinch paprika (optional)
  • ΒΌ cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed


    Heat a large pot of water to boiling. Lightly salt the water, add the cauliflower and lemon zest, and cook until the caulflower is crisp-tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain. Refresh in cold water and drain again. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

    Heat, but do not boil, the olive oil in a small saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat, drop in the pepper flakes, and let steep until the oil is red, about 15 minutes. Strain the oil, discarding the flakes. You may add a little paprika to heighten the color, if you want. Let the oil cool completely.

    Combine the vinegar and garlic in a mixing bowl. Gradually whisk in the red pepper oil, then stir in the capers. Season to taste with salt. Pour the vinaigrette over the cauliflower and toss to coat. Let marinate at room temperature a few hours.