Memorial Day has come and gone, which means you now have permission to wear your whites. I’m here to tell you it’s time to eat them, too.
For years we’ve been hearing nutritionists tout the virtues of “eating the rainbow”–in the form of bright vegetables and fruits–to reap maximum health benefits. But just last week, a study was published by the American Society for Nutrition advising all of us to eat more white vegetables. Think cauliflower, potatoes, garlic, mushrooms, onions and kohlrabi to name a few. You could think turnips, too, but since I despise turnips, I’ve deleted them from my eating to-do list. Here is the link to the study: “White Vegetables: A Forgotten Source of Nutrients.”
Lucky for me, every other white vegetable on the list is a favorite. It’s not as if any of us need to be reminded to eat the vegetables that we love, but news that one’s favorite foods–including some that have been much maligned in recent years, such as potatoes–are significant to maintaining a healthy diet is always welcome.
I am always keen on big summer salads that last for several days so I decided to do a riff on tabbouleh using the head of cauliflower that I had (almost) forgotten in the refrigerator. Alyssa at Everyday Maven inspired me to start making cauliflower “rice” several months ago with her gorgeous, step-by-step post on how to make it, store it, and use it. Using cauliflower in place of the traditional bulgur suddenly seemed like a perfect idea (especially since it meant zero cooking!).
The results? Crazy fabulous! I cannot wait to sub cauliflower (and perhaps other white vegetables, similarly “riced”) in some more of my favorite grain salads. Enjoy!
- 1 medium-large head cauliflower
- 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
- ½ cup packed fresh mint leaves, chopped
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered or halved (depending on size)
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped
- 1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1-1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Salad: Cut off the tough ends (keep the stems!) of the cauliflower chop until very fine (size of bulgur grains—you can do this in seconds in a food processor). Transfer to a large bowl and add the parsley, mint, green onions, tomatoes, and cucumber.
- Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, oil, cumin, salt, and pepper. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the vegetables and toss. Let stand at least 15 minutes to blend the flavors. Serve cold or at room temperature.