When you're making a recipe with a lot of components—like this salad, which has quick-pickled grapes and raw grapes; roasted, cheese-coated cauliflower and raw cauliflower; plus a creamy vinaigrette—you can approach leftovers in one of two ways:
- You can go all in—since you've committed anyhow—and double or triple the recipe to eat throughout the week.
- Or, you can make a big batch of the component parts without mixing them together. Double the pickled grapes and double the roasted cauliflower, for example, but only make a one-times batch of the actual salad.
With the second choice, you won't be overwhelmed with a mountain of leftovers from complex dish that's tricky to repurpose. Instead, you'll have the already-prepped building blocks that can easily spin off into other, entirely different meals.
In this particular salad, if you want tap into the versatility of the pickled grapes and the roasted cauliflower, you can hold back on adding the spices to the pickling liquid and throwing in cheddar cheese with the roasting florets. That way, your fruit and veg will be closer to blank canvases—and it'll be easier to adjust the seasonings later on depending on what you're cooking.
Here's the plan: Make a single batch of the salad, but double the pickled grapes and the roasted cauliflower...
- For the pickled raisins and grapes
- 2 cups (generous) halved green grapes (from about 1 pound of grapes), divided
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, divided
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- For the salad and the dressing
- 2 heads cauliflower, divided
- 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and black pepper, for seasoning
- 5 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
- 1 1/2 cups (generous) crumbled sharp white cheddar cheese, divided
- 2 teaspoons mustard (I used a mix: half grainy, half Dijon)
- 1/2 cup walnut oil (or substitute with olive oil)
- 1 teaspoon (heaping) crème fraîche, sour cream, or Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped smoked almonds (or toasted slivered almonds)
...then use your leftovers—both composed and waiting-to-be—these ways:
With the leftover salad:
- Toss it with chunks of roasted sweet potato or squash.
- Mix it into a pot of warm grains, like farro or barley.
- Use it as a socca-topper.
- Swaddle it in a tortilla with sautéed kale and additional shredded cheddar cheese.
- Fold in shredded poached (or roasted) chicken breast, along with a creamy-tangy yogurt dressing. Balance atop toasted rye bread.
- Make it even more of "salad's salad" by tossing it into crunchy romaine, Bibb, or massaged kale.
With the extra roasted cauliflower:
- Heat up vegetable (or chicken stock), then add the the cauliflower and purée into a soup, adjusting the seasoning as needed. Swirl in some cream or yogurt at the end.
- Take a cue from Heidi Swanson's Mushroom Casserole: Mix the cauliflower with cooked brown rice, sautéed mushrooms and onions, a couple whisked eggs, a cup or so of ricotta or cottage cheese, and 1/2 cup of something tangy like sour cream or crème fraîche. Dump into a buttered baking dish, top with shredded cheddar or Parmesan, and bake, first covered then uncovered, until warmed through and crispy on top.
- Swap out the steamed cauliflower in Tom Hirschfeld's Cauliflower Spoon Eggs for roasted.
- Add to macaroni and cheese, as you would broccoli, before baking.
- Or use it to bulk up Joy the Baker's Braised Chickpeas.
- Or, hightail it straight to Ali Stafford's Curried Chickpeas with Cauliflower and Coconut Milk.
And with all those pickled grapes...
- Sprinkle them on slightly-savory oatmeal or over a bowl of plain Greek yogurt. Add a pinch of sea salt and a sprinkling of brown sugar.
- Mash them up, then turn them into the base of a shrub or vinegary cocktail.
- Use them to top a finished white pizza (in place of the cherry tomatoes on this one, for example) or bake them directly into focaccia.
- Spread them on top of ricotta before you bake it or chop into smaller pieces, then spoon onto ricotta toast for something more edgy than trendy.
- Add grapes to the pan for the last few minutes of chicken-roasting.
- Roast them with balsamic vinegar and radicchio and serve over polenta or a pork chop.
- Or, do a Thanksgiving trial run, and make this Grape and Goat Cheese Stuffing.
- Pack them for lunch with kale, curried chickpeas, and crumbles of cheddar cheese.
What sorts of recipe components are best for doubling and tripling? Lentils, beans, grains? Tell us in the comments.