Warm Cauliflower Salad with Raisins, Pine Nuts, and Pink Peppercorns

Preparation info

  • Serves


    Appears in

    Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini

    By Elizabeth Schneider

    Published 2001

    • About

    For this tart-sweet mélange of unusual colors and flavors, cauliflower is speedily cooked whole (steamed or microwaved), then cut into wedges while still warm and dressed to serve as appetizer or side salad. Vibrant green broccoli Romanesco or Broccoflower is a spectacular substitute.


    • 1 medium white or green cauliflower (about 2 pounds)
    • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
    • ¼ cup golden raisins
    • ¼ cup fruit vinegar such as raspberry, strawberry, or pear
    • ¼ cup diced red onion
    • ½ teaspoon pink peppercorns
    • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
    • tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 teaspoons capers (preferably tiny nonpareil type)
    • ½ teaspoon cornstarch
    • 2 tablespoons water


      1. Trim large leaves only from cauliflower. Cut off heavy stem base. Cut a large conical plug from remaining stem to hollow it. Set cauliflower in ¾ inch boiling salted water in heavy pot that holds it closely. Cover and cook over moderate heat until tender, about 8 minutes. Let stand a few minutes before uncovering. (Alternatively, microwave the cauliflower; see Basic Cauliflower Cookery.)
      2. Meanwhile, toast pine nuts, stirring, in small heavy pan over fairly low heat until golden. Spread out to cool. In same pan, combine raisins, vinegar, onion, peppercorns, salt, oil, and capers. Cover and bring to a simmer over low heat. Stir together cornstarch and water. Add to pan, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and turns clear. Remove from heat.
      3. Cut hot cauliflower into 8 wedges. Spoon sauce over, distributing it evenly. Serve warm.