Friday, February 6, 2009

Crunchy Salad with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

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 pea salad 5

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.

pea salad 4

 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)


Celery, chopped

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 (


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.


pea salad 6


Karen said...

This is so simple but it looks so elegant! I'm going to make this :)

test it comm said...

That salad looks really good! I like the pea and cauliflower combo.

Anonymous said...

The perfect summer salad. I can't wait to pull the BBQ out. I guess I still have a few months to wait :(

Simply...Gluten-free said...

This reminds me of a salad my grandmother used to make except she added hard boiled eggs. Yum, I sometimes crave it. Thanks for this.

oneordinaryday said...

Sounds like a good combination. I'm going to give it a try. Thanks.

Rita said...

Karen- thank you, I hope you enjoy it!

Kevin- thanks a lot

chuck- I can't wait for winter to end too...

Simply...- I am happy it reminds you of grandmma!

creativecarryout- it's a great combo, try it!

Wandering Chopsticks said...

I love chopped salads and cauliflower. I like eating it raw. I'll have to try your trick of pouring boiling water over it just to see how it tastes.

Rita said...

WC- I like them almost raw, that's why I do the water trick. Plus it is an easier clean up...

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad I came across this today on foodgawker! I've just made it up to go with our dinner tonight and I can't wait to eat more than the few taste tests of it I've snuck in. Thank you for sharing this. It's wonderful!

arthistorybabe said...

Love this! This the second time I have made it! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I can`t wait to try this .I am a salad lover ,and sick of the same lettuce ,tomato and cuke versions . I think this will be a favorite

CherylM said...

I tried your boiling water trick and it is perfect! Huge improvement to the veggies.

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