Cauliflower and Radicchio Salad

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When was the last time you had a transformative experience eating cauliflower?  No, I’m not talking about cauliflower in the form of a few milky white flowerets mounded next to some cherry tomatoes and a pile of carrot sticks on a crudité platter offered as the first course at a dinner party or potluck.  That’s cauliflower in its most humdrum state, more crunch than flavor, serving primarily as a delivery device for whatever obligatory dipping sauce has been provided.

No, I’m talking about cauliflower that has been prepared in such a way that upon your first experience of it your thoughts are filled with the pleasant recognition that a vegetable that only a few moments before seemed bland and boring is in fact brimming with culinary possibilities.

I can tell you’re skeptical.  So, please, let me explain.

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Winter Pasta Salad

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Pasta salad is one of those dishes that are supposed to be infinitely flexible.  It’s just cooked pasta, vegetables, and dressing.  What could be easier?  Well, nothing … which is precisely the problem.  Pasta salads can be so easy, they’re uninspiring.

That’s the dilemma I faced when I sat down to come up with the second in my series of recipes for easily made breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner dishes that can be substituted for store-bought items typically loaded with added sugar.  I knew I wanted to do a home-made pasta salad, but finding one that was both tempting and convenient seemed difficult.

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