Cauliflower Salad with Olives and Bread Crumbs

MAKES: 4 servings

TIME: 45 minutes, including cooking the cauliflower

Bread crumbs give this crunchy dish, which is common in southern Italy, enough body to stand on its own; I like to serve it family style, passing more bread crumbs at the table. Or try a spoonful next to Panfried Eggplant or grilled zucchini, then grate some Parmesan over all.

1 medium cauliflower (11/2 to 2 pounds), steamed and shocked

1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced

1/2 cup oil-cured or other good black olives, pitted and coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup Fried Bread Crumbs

1/4 cup minced parsley leaves

01 Break cauliflower into relatively small florets and put them in a medium bowl along with the onion and olives. Drizzle with the oil and vinegar and sprinkle with just a little salt and lots of pepper. Toss and set aside. (The salad may be made ahead to this point, covered, and refrigerated for up to a day. Return it to room temperature, tossing occasionally to coat well with the dressing, before proceeding.).

02 Mix the bread crumbs with the parsley and sprinkle the top of the cauliflower with half of the crumb mixture. Serve, passing the rest at the table.

Variation

Cauliflower Salad with Capers and Bread Crumbs. Instead of the olives, use 1/4 cup capers, preferably salt-cured.