Warm Cauliflower Salad With Shallots 4.000

Jennifer Chase for The Washington Post

Sep 10, 2018

In France, this simple warm salad is prepared "au pif" -- by nose, instinct and taste -- so feel free to add as much or as little of the flavoring ingredients as you wish. You do want it to consist of two-thirds cauliflower and one-third potatoes. Quite a bit of vinegar goes in, allowing it to absorb into the vegetables, and that creates a nice sharp bite.

Start with a single shallot if what have is strong or pungent; use two or more if your shallots are mild.

To read the accompanying story, see: I thought French cuisine was the height of precision. My mother-in-law taught me an easier way.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 1 pound firm, waxy potatoes, scrubbed well
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, or more as needed
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar, or more as needed
  • 1 or more shallots, thinly sliced (see headnote)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher or coarse sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Discard the outer leaves and the large, hard stem of the cauliflower; break up the cauliflower into large florets.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the cauliflower and reduce the heat to medium-low; cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until fork-tender. Drain and rinse very quickly under cool water so the florets don't discolor. They should be just cool enough to handle, yet still quite warm. Break the florets into bite-size pieces, letting them fall into a serving bowl as you work.

Scrub the potatoes. Refill the pot with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes; cook for about 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and rinse under cool water until they are just cool enough to handle, then peel and cut the potatoes into bite-size chunks, adding them to the serving bowl as you work.

Add both vinegars and toss until all of the vegetables are coated and have absorbed the liquid. Taste, and add more of either/both vinegars as needed, until you have achieved a pleasant "bite."

Add the shallot(s), oil, a large pinch of salt and a grinding or two of black pepper, tossing to incorporate.

Serve warm.

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Recipe Source

From cookbook author Jamie Schler.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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