SUMMER DINING

Piri-Piri spice blend from the amazing folks at World Spice

Piri-Piri spice blend from the amazing folks at World Spice

I don’t mind if a dish is low carb or low calorie but I do mind if it’s low flavor. I’m an American. I like bold flavors and I’m not above stealing someone else’s spicing for my own pleasure. Which brings us to Piri – Piri. If you like BOLD flavor, this is the spice blend for you. It combines dried tomato, dried lemon and chili peppers and it will kick anything up a notch, as Emeril is so fond of saying.  As always, you can order this wonderful seasoning from our good friends, World Spice, near the Pike Market in Seattle. Yes, they ship!

So, what do you do with this lovely spice blend? Well, here’s a summer salad idea we came up with and it’s a pip!

Bold, crunchy, refreshing. Just right for the summer grilling season.

Bold, crunchy, refreshing. Just right for the summer grilling season.

 Piri – Piri Cauliflower Salad

(serves 2 but you can extend it for a lot more)

  • 2 cups raw cauliflower
  • ½ medium beefsteak or similar tomato
  • ½ pasilla or green pepper
  • 2 green onions
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 knob fresh ginger, grated (should yield about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 Tablespoons plain, Greek style yogurt
  • A goodly hank of fresh cilantro (How’s that for a weird measurement?)
  • Juice from one lime
  • A few grinds of Trader Joe’s smoky pepper (from South Africa! Great seasoning in just about anything!)
  • ½ teaspoon (or less if you don’t like it very hot) Piri – Piri spice blend
  • Sea salt to taste

Cook the cauliflower to fork tender. In the summer I use a microwave to keep the heat down but you can steam or boil it if that works for you. I do steam the garlic cloves (in their skins) at the same time. This sweetens them up a bit.

While that’s cooking, finely mince the green onion. Chop the pepper and tomato into ¼ inch cubes . Roughly chop the cilantro.  Put into a bowl.

In another bowl combine the yogurt, ground Piri – Piri, lime juice and grated ginger.

When the cauliflower is done, immerse it into cold water to arrest the cooking process. It should be still slightly crunchy. Al dente as our Italian cousins would say. Drain the cauliflower well using a wire strainer and paper towel to remove as much water as possible.

Remove the garlic from its skins. They should be vaguely paste-like at this point. Mash them if needed and stir into the yogurt dressing. Season with salt to taste and set aside.

Chop the cauliflower into pieces similar in size to the peppers and tomatoes.

Mix the vegetables together and then add the dressing. Stir well to thinly coat the veggie mix.

Place in a bowl and chill well before serving.

 

This salad is excellent as a vegetarian stand-alone and makes a wonderful accompaniment to grilled chicken or fish. The bright notes of the cilantro, ginger and lime contrast well with the spiciness of the Piri – Piri and the natural flavors of the vegetables.

We hope you like it.

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