Yes, this yummy salad features cauliflower, a keto staple, but it’s anything but boring. Caraway seed pairs surprisingly well with cauliflower, and there are plenty of other flavors and textures here, too: celery lends a mouth-watering crunch, and onion a gentle punch. And chopped fresh parsley provides a final, herby flourish. Serve with your favorite keto vinaigrette dressing!
Tips for making the Caraway-Kissed Cauliflower Salad
There is nothing complicated whatsoever in this salad — it’s easy even for a novice cook. Chopping the ingredients takes longest: then you just throw the salad together.
A couple quick tips, though: When you cook the cauliflower, just remember to leave it crisp-tender. We’re not making mashed cauliflower here: you want your salad to be something you can sink your teeth into.
Also, this salad is easy to make ahead. You can actually prepare everything the day before you are planning to make and serve the salad. That means you can go ahead and boil the caraway seeds, boil the cauliflower, and chop the celery, onion and parsley.
So, let’s take a look at how to prepare this scrumptious salad:
First, take your caraway seeds and place them into a saucepan.
Cook them in (salted) water for 1 minute.
Remove from the heat but don’t drain: leave them to soak in the hot water until the water has cooled.
Once the water and seeds have cooled, drain the seeds well. I use a tea strainer, but you can also put the caraway seeds in a tea ball before cooking and then just remove the tea ball after the seeds have cooled down.
Next, take the cauliflower chunks. Cook them until crisp-tender. This takes about 5 minutes. Drain well and let cool to room temperature. (To make things a little easier, you can cheat and use pre-cooked frozen cauliflower, thawed. You can still cook it a couple of minutes if you consider it too hard.)
Take a large bowl and add the cauliflower…
Not that the order really matters: just throw all the ingredients into the bowl. Toss gently but well.
Cover and refrigerate for an hour to give the flavors time to mingle.
Serve with your preferred vinaigrette dressing. (Find some tasty inspiration here!)
Here I serve the salad with a Quick Raspberry Vinaigrette, a recipe from my Low Sugar, So Simple book.
My cauliflower salad experiments
This week, I really wanted to make a salad with cauliflower. I was after something a bit special—and maybe unusual, too—since I’m always looking for ways to pep up cauliflower, that plain old keto standby.
After checking my pantry for ideas, I discovered a big bag of caraway seeds. This one:
Well, why not use those? Caraway sounded like a perfect addition to my cauliflower salad — and it definitely counted as unusual, since it doesn’t turn up in many recipes. Traditionally, caraway is paired with cabbage (it also reduces intestinal gas formation caused by eating cabbage), but as cauliflower is also a cruciferous vegetable, caraway should go well with it, too, I thought.
Since I was making a salad which didn’t need heating, I was afraid that the caraway seeds would remain dry and chewy if I were to add them raw. So, I decided to try an age-old method and soak the caraway seeds in hot water first. That makes them soft and plump, and gives them almost a melt-in-your-mouth texture.
But what else I should add to my salad besides cauliflower and caraway seeds? Chopped onion, for sure — it’s an excellent natural flavor enhancer for almost any savory food. It would lend just the right amount of punch.
Lately, I’ve been using plenty of parsley almost in every (savory!) dish I make — just because I’m craving it for some reason! So I decided to toss in a good amount of chopped fresh parsley as well.
Good start, but I still wanted to add some (very) low-carb veggies to the mix. After a little pondering, I decided to try cucumber and celery — not simultaneously, but one at a time, to see which would work better in the salad. I was so sure that cucumber would be the winner that I cubed a ton of it — so much that it filled a large bowl.
I took a large cauliflower head, chopped it into bite-sized pieces and cooked it until crisp-tender. Once the cauliflower was cool, I added my plump caraway seeds, 1/2 cup (120 ml) chopped parsley and 1/3 cup (80 ml) finely chopped onion. I tossed the ingredients well.
Then I put some of this salad “base” into small bowls and added cucumber cubes to one and thinly sliced celery to the other. This is my experiment:
Eagerly, I tasted my experiments. To my big surprise, the version with celery was the obvious winner. Not only did it provide a delicious crunch, it was also a better match with caraway. (Great: now what was I supposed to do with my big bowl of cubed cucumber?) And I didn’t have any celery left, so I had to go buy some more.
After shopping for more ingredients, I made a bigger batch of the salad: I was so excited that my cauliflower salad with caraway turned out so well. I was afraid it would taste too… um, interesting (read: weird), but all the flavors complemented one another perfectly. With vinaigrette dressing, the salad was everything I’d hoped it would be!
Here’s the recipe:
|Nutrition Information||In total||Per serving if 4 servings in total||Per serving if 6 servings in total|
|Protein||22.4 g||5.6 g||3.7 g|
|Fat||2.7 g||0.7 g||0.5 g|
|Net carbs||24.2 g||6.1 g||4.0 g|
|kcal||215 kcal||54 kcal||36 kcal|
Tips for variations
Don’t like caraway? No worries! Just omit it. The salad is still very tasty without it. Or, you can add some other seeds, like fennel seeds or even sesame seeds. If you use sesame seeds, add them right before serving so that they don’t lose their crunch.
Want to make it a full meal? That’s easy, too. Add cubed, cooked meat, fish, or chicken to your salad.
Get more crunch by using raw cauliflower instead of cooked. Cauliflower rice sounds also fab. Throw in some chopped walnuts, pecans, or almonds for more nutrients and even more crunch!
You can also use homemade mayonnaise instead of vinaigrette. Mix well, and use the salad as filling in your low-carb sandwiches. (Hint: this keto bread makes excellent sandwiches!)