The “steak” on this salad is a grilled slice a fresh cauliflower. Which is meaty in its own way.
- 1 tablespoon dijion mustard
- ¼ cup sherry vinegar
- 1 pinch sugar
- 1 pinch each kosher salt & black pepper, to taste
- 1 small clove garlic, green germ removed, finely minced
- 1 centigram extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for grill
- 1 pound green beans, ends trimmed
- 1 pound various varieties of tomatoes (try for a mix of types, sizes and colors)
- 1 pinch maldon salt, or other coarse sea salt, to taste
- 1 shallot, finely minced
- 30 large green basil leaves, cut in ¼‑inch ribbons
- ½ bunch lat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- 25 tarragon leaves, snipped with scissors
- 2 large cauliflower heads
- 2 teaspoon mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
Prepare the vinaigrette. Place the mustard, vinegar, sugar, 1 pinch each salt & pepper and garlic in a mason jar. Place the lid on the jar and give it a good shake. This will dissolve the salt and the sugar. Remove the cap, add the olive oil, replace the cap and shake again. This will yield about 1 ⅓ cups of creamy, well-emulsified vinaigrette, more than will be required for the recipe (the remainder can be stored tightly covered in the refrigerator for at least 1 week).
Make the salad: Prepare a bowl of ice water. Blanch the green beans briefly in a large pot of rapidly boiling salted water and cook just until the color brightens, about 3 minutes. Remove to the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking, then drain and pat dry. Slice the tomatoes and arrange them on a large serving platter. Depending on the shape of the tomatoes, you may want to cut some into wedges and others may look better sliced. Season the tomatoes with Maldon salt and a few turns of freshly milled black pepper. Sprinkle the tomatoes with the chopped shallots and distribute half the green and opal basil, parsley and tarragon evenly over the tomatoes. This should be done one-half hour before you are ready to serve your guests.
Grill the cauliflower: Heat the grill over medium-high heat until hot and clean it well with a wire brush.
Trim the stem end of the cauliflowers. Then slice in half through the stem end. Trim each into thick slices. There will be lots of extra florets to use another time. You should have 4 thick cross sections of cauliflower.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Blanch the cauliflower slices until softened, about 4 minutes. Drain and dry each slice. Then brush both sides lightly with mayonnaise. Move to the heated grill and grill until nicely charred and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.
Just before the cauliflower is ready, shake the vinaigrette again to re-emulsify, and drizzle one-fourth of it over the tomatoes. Place the cooked and drained green beans in a mixing bowl and toss them with enough vinaigrette to coat them well and season with salt and pepper. Scatter a layer of beans over the tomatoes. Place the grilled cauliflower on top of the tomatoes and the beans. Drizzle with more vinaigrette and scatter over the remainder of the dressed beans. Distribute the remaining herbs over it all. Pass the remaining vinaigrette at the table.