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Author Notes: Sometimes, salads are just a way to eat more cheese. Bring on the feta crumbles, goat cheese blobs, and pecorino shards. This vinaigrette cuts to the chase with lots of ground parmesan, chock-full of umami. Don’t use pre-grated—it’s usually mixed with anti-caking agents labeled as “cellulose.” I like to grind chunks in a food processor until fine. Or, just use a microplane or the smallest holes on a grater. What you will need is a mandoline to shave the vegetables. Play around with the combination—just make sure it’s crunchy, crunchy, crunchy. Think carrots, radishes, daikon, turnips. —Emma Laperruque
Food52 Review: This recipe is part of Change The Way You Cook, a new series to help anyone (yes, you!) become smarter, faster, and more freewheeling in the kitchen. —The Editors
Serves 2 as an entree, 4 as a side
cup freshly ground (or finely grated) parmesan cheese
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
Pinch kosher salt
- Combine the parmesan, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt in a jar with a lid. Close and shake, shake, shake until creamy and emulsified. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
head of cauliflower
bulb of fennel (cut lengthwise, stem still attached)
small beets, preferably red and golden, peeled
Ground or finely grated parmesan, for garnish
- Break the cauliflower into big florets. Shave on a mandoline into 1/8”-thick slices—if they’re too thin, they’ll fall apart—directly into a large bowl. Halve the fennel half, lengthwise, leaving the stem attached (this ensures pretty fennel cross-sections). Shave each fennel quarter on the mandoline into paper-thin slices, directly into the bowl. Shave each beet on the mandoline into paper-thin slices, directly into the bowl. Sprinkle with a couple big pinches of salt and toss gingerly with your hands.
- Dress the salad—you’ll use all of the vinaigrette—and toss again with your hands. Taste and adjust the salt if necessary. (This can keep in the fridge for a couple hours.) Shower with more ground parmesan just before serving.
- This recipe is a Community Pick!