Bacon Cauliflower Salad

Cauliflower Salad

This bacon cauliflower salad is addictive.

In the spring of 2018, my mother-in-law, Mary, whipped up this cool, refreshing salad. The crispy, curly leaves of the Romaine lettuce really sets it off. I’ve tried other greens, but none provide the combination of color and delightful crunch.  W
e enjoy this as a main, but it makes a tasty side for a protein, such as a steak or chicken. Sometimes I substitute a little broccoli for the lettuce or some diced pepperoni for the bacon. Any flavorful meat works well. Next time I might try kalamata olives as a meat alternative.

  • BACON CAULIFLOWER SALAD
  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 0hr 30mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
WHAT YOU NEED WHAT TO DO WHY
  • Aluminum foil
Place oven rack just below center; start preheating to 400°F “Convection” (verify with an oven thermometer). Completely cover a half sheet pan with a large sheet of foil; seal any seams to prevent leaking. Ovens often run hot or cold or preheat slowly.
  • 8 ounces thick sliced bacon
  • 1 teaspoon roughly ground black pepper
Cut bacon strips in half; arrange in a single layer on the foil without stretching. Scatter pepper evenly on top; bake until brown and crispy (15-20 minutes). Use tongs to transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to draw away excess fat; set aside to cool. Break 8 of the strips into bite-sized pieces and refrigerate the rest for another use. Cutting in half makes the strips easier to handle. Stretching causes bacon to curl during baking.
  • ½ cup plain whole milk yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons real mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon dried dill
  • ⅛ teaspoon dry mustard
For the dressing, whisk all together in a 5-quart bowl. Yogurt lightens up the mixture without compromising the flavor.
  • 12 ounces cauliflower, broken into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 ounces cubed red bell pepper
  • 4 ounces shredded Romaine lettuce
  • ¼ cup finely diced red onion
  • ¼ cup salted sunflower seeds
Add all to the dressing, along with ½ the bacon. Toss together with a silicon spatula. Transfer into a serving bowl and finish with remaining bacon. Serve promptly. The dressing makes the sunflower seeds and bacon soggy if held over time.