Memorial Day weekend means grilling season will officially commence. That said, Old Bay seasoning is one of our favorites around here. Originally used to flavor crab and shrimp, it is now widely used and popular in many dishes. The seasoning mix includes mustard, paprika, celery salt, bay leaf, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, mace, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, cardamom and ginger.
This year, I decided to make a cauliflower salad, similar to a potato salad. Sans potatoes, this is low-carb side goes perfectly with any grilled food.
Cauliflower is low in fat and carbohydrates but high in dietary fiber, folate, water and vitamin C. Cauliflower contains several phytochemicals, common in the cabbage family, that may be good for human health. It has great nutritional density and is something I love to serve in many ways: roasted, a substitute for shrimp, in soup and even on my pizza.
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Old Bay Cauliflower Salad
2 heads cauliflower
4 large celery stalks, finely diced
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup red onion, finely diced
2 cups mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
Salt to taste
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While you wait, cut heads of cauliflower into 3-inch pieces.
Have a large bowl of ice water ready as well as a paper-towel lined (many layers) baking sheet.
Working in batches, blanch the cauliflower in the hot water, each batch for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and immediately place in the ice water to stop the cooking process. Let sit in ice water for a few minutes, then remove to the paper-towel lined baking sheet (add more ice to keep water cold for the other batches). Repeat with the rest of the cauliflower.
When all cauliflower is done, break into smaller pieces with your hands (stems too) and give a rough chop with a knife. Here is the most important part: You will want your cauliflower to be really, really dry before you mix it with the mayo. Let it sit for a while in a single layer on a dry tray. Not doing this will result in a runny and diluted salad.
Mix together mayonnaise, Old Bay, red pepper flakes and black pepper in a medium-sized bowl (you can do this up to a day ahead of time).
In a large bowl, combine blanched cauliflower, celery, peas and red onion. Mix with the mayo-Old Bay mixture and salt to taste. Refrigerate at least four hours or overnight before serving.
Yield: 10 to 12 servings.