I call this salad the airport salad because I first try it at the Seattle airport. It happened by an accident actually. I wanted to surprise Andrew at the airport when he was arriving from a long trip overseas. It turned out his flight was delayed 3 times and I was sitting at the airport for hours waiting. At some point I had to get something to eat. I saw this salad and decided on it. My expectations were very low, after all I was an airport and airport food is typically pour and over priced. The salad was surprisingly good (still over priced though). It was crunchy and tasty. I specially enjoyed the cashews in it and the smoked cheese provided an unexpected burst of flavour. This is my version of it. I made my own salad dressing because I really don't like bottled ones, but you can use store-bought ranch. The cashews get soggy with time so add them to the finished salad as you need it.
Crunchy Salad Recipe:
As in most salads, the proportions of the ingredients is up to each one's taste.
You will need:
Cauliflower florets (bite size pieces)
Red onion or shallot, finely chopped
Smoked Gouda cheese, cut into small pieces
Roasted cashews (salted or not, it doesn't matter)
I do not cook the cauliflower, I like it very crunchy. Instead, I place the cauliflower in a strainer and pour boiling water over it, just to remove its "rawness"
Mix all ingredients and toss with the dressing. Remember to add the cashews at the last minute to keep them crunchy.
Buttermilk Ranch Dressing:
adapted from Eating Well (www.eatingwell.com)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup egg-free mayonnaise
1 tablespoon white whine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 bunch of chopped chives
Stir all ingredients very well. Keep refrigerated.