Cauliflower Orange Olive Salad

I love a grocery store deli with an olive bar.  At the end of shopping, I used to hit up the olive bar for a few olives to eat on the way home.  I am a huge fan of green olives cured with orange rinds, or spicy olives covered in chiles.  My husband likes olives stuffed with garlic.  And everyone loves kalamata olives.  

While I used Castelvetrano olives in this recipe, feel free to substitute other olives.  Castelvetrano olives are well-known for their mild flavor, so if you prefer a stronger olive presence, go with a bolder olive.  If you have trouble tracking down Castelvetrano olives, you may consider substituting Manzanilla green olives.  It will add more olive flavor, but it works so, so nicely with fennel and orange.

Because I don't drink much orange juice, I bought a large navel orange for this recipe.  I squeezed it for the orange juice, and I pulsed the rind in a food processor, so I would have fresh orange peel.  It's a nice little hack to make a super fresh salad!

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Cauliflower Orange Olive Salad

3 cups cauliflower florets

1 small fennel bulb, chopped

1 large shallot, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped

1 Tbsp + ⅓ cup olive oil, divided

2-3 Tbsp white wine vinegar

¼ cup orange juice

1-2 tsp orange peel, finely chopped

½ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

¼ cup Castelvetrano olives (or the olive of your choice, maybe Manzanilla)

Salt

Black pepper

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and blanch the cauliflower for 20 seconds.  Remove from the pot, and rinse with cold water immediately.  Set aside.

2. In a skillet, add 1 Tbsp olive oil, shallot and garlic.  Sauté for 3 minutes over low heat.  Add to a large mixing bowl.  Add white whine vinegar, orange juice, orange peel, parsley, the remaining ⅓ cup of olive oil, salt and black pepper.  Whisk until well combined, and taste and adjust seasonings. Add cauliflower and fennel to the mixing bowl, and combine.  Taste, and adjust seasonings, if needed.  Serve.

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