Quick Pickled Cauliflower & Fennel Salad with Gotham Greens and Chimichurri

A pinch wouldn’t wake me up from this half-dream, half-fantasy I have been living in for the past week. For the first time in my life, I put on a chef’s apron and publicly cooked as Tasty Plan. While I had been producing this event for the past month and a half, it was never in the works for me to cook. I was meant to orchestrate the event from behind the scenes, ensure along a team of wonderful colleagues, that everything would run smoothly by ensuring glasses were always full and plates cleared. I was supposed to just shake hands and smile; tell the story of how a design company got into curating events like this one atop the Gotham Greens greenhouse. With shaking knees and a nerves as tangible as those I felt before getting married, I took a shot of tequila and put a smile on my face. I rolled up my sleeves and started entertaining as if it came naturally. I thought I was prepared, I had worked my ass off leading to the event. Like a mad scientist I carefully prepared everything, divided into labelled containers. Nonetheless, nothing could have helped me predicts the nerves, the adrenaline, and the the reactions in everybody’s faces. How did this unknown blogger, get to cook with some amazing chefs? 

That night I got share everything I believe in with 100 people, and now I get to share it with you.  

This salad is a celebration of my favorite things: sustainably produced, locally sourced vegetables, bold flavors, and community. These practices and beliefs are embodied a salad you want to throw a party for. It is colorful, vibrant, and addictive (and yes, it pairs wonderfully with a glass of Gruner, if you are into that). I like to talk about it as a roots to leaves salad: velvety smooth, beet hummus serves as a base to a tangy salad of tender Gotham Greens and quick pickled vegetables. Drizzled with Chimichurri and topped with sprouts, cilantro, and seeds, this salad is a bright contrast of colors and complimentary flavors. The textures and flavor are meant to be layered. Every component works together, to make a unique, vibrant dish that is hard to forget. Serve it with crackers, and you are in for a treat that you will want to go back for seconds, thirds, and fourths. Promise. 

Even though this salad contains several components, they are all easy to make. Yes, they take some time and work, but all good things do. I hope you recreate this, share it with friends and call it the best Salad Party, ever!

Photos Credits to Jen Brister / Story & Gold

Quick Pickled Cauliflower & Fennel Salad with Gotham Greens and Chimichurri

Dreamy Beet Hummus

Makes 1 ½ - 2 cups

Cook time: 8-10 hours, mostly inactive

Ingredients

  • water
  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • 2 tsp. Baking soda, divided
  • 2 tsp. Salt, divided
  •  2 medium sized beets
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. Tahini
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp. za'atar, plus more for plating
  • ¼ - ½ cup ice cold water

Process

  1. Place the chickpeas in a large pot with enough water to cover by 2-3”.
  2. Add a teaspoon of baking soda, and let the chickpeas soak for 8-10 hours.
  3. After 8-10 hours, drain the chickpeas through a sieve and rinse.
  4. Add back into the pot with a teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Add enough water to cover chickpeas by 2-3”.
  5. Bring water to a boil, then reduce to medium heat and cook for 45-60 minutes. Chickpeas are ready when they just start to fall apart. Taste them as they cook.
  6. Once ready, drain, rinse, and set aside. You can do this ahead of time, and refrigerate until ready to prepare hummus. Set aside until ready to use.
  7. As the chickpeas cook, roast the beets: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash each beet, then pat dry. Wrap each beet in aluminum foil. Bake for 60 minutes.
  8. Remove beets from the oven and let cool. Once ready peel off skin (should come off easy, and cut into quarters.
  9. Place cooked chickpeas, cooked, roasted beets, 1 tsp. salt, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and za’atar in a food processor. Pulse until smooth.
  10. Slowly add ¼ - ½ cup ice cold water through the food processor’s chute while you continue to pulse the hummus. The amount of water you add depends on the texture you prefer, I prefer adding just enough water for a smooth, but not too runny. Add water and taste until you achieve desired consistency. Play with it.
  11. Set aside until ready to serve.

Chimichurri

Cook time: 10 minutes

Makes about a cup

  •  1 large bunch cilantro (about 3 cups chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ tsp. chili flakes
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  1. Place cilantro and garlic in food processor. Pulse several times until well chopped.
  2. Transfer to a jar. Add chili flakes, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and sea salt.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Quick Pickled Cauliflower & Fennel Salad with Gotham Greens and Chimichurri

Cook time: 20-25 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 small fennel bulb
  •  ½ cauliflower head
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • juice half a lemon
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp. capers
  • 3-4 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 big handfuls Gotham Greens Arugula
  •  2 big handfuls Gotham Greens Queens Crisp
  • Za’atar to taste
  • Handful cilantro
  • Handful pumpkin or sunflower seeds

Process

  1. Using either a mandolin or a very sharp knife, cut the fennel and the cauliflower into 1/8" thin slices. 
  2. Place the cut slices into a large bowl. Add the apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, salt, capers, and olive oil. Toss until evenly incorporated. Pickle for 15 minutes.
  3. Place the Gotham Greens in a large bowl. Add a pinch of the salt and a drizzle of the olive oil. Toss until evenly incorporated.
  4. Add the pickled vegetables into the greens and toss again. Taste for seasoning, and adjust if needed. 
  5. To plate, scoop hummus onto the bottom of a large bowl. Add a dash of the za’atar, salt, and a drizzle of olive oil.
  6. Plate salad directly over the hummus. Drizzle a couple spoonful’s of chimichurri over the salad, then sprinkle with the seeds and the cilantro. Serve immediately with crackers.