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Posted by on Jul 30, 2012 in Recipes | 19 comments

Secret Recipe Club: Cauliflower and Broccoli Salad

Secret Recipe Club: Cauliflower and Broccoli Salad

Traditional Korean cuisine largely is cooked with fire on a stove or a grill, not an oven. Many small Korean apartments don’t even have an oven and if there is an oven, it’s not much bigger than a washing machine. Many Koreans use their ovens for storage instead.

Instead of stretching this blog’s baking acumen for this month Secret Recipe Club focus, Koreafornian Cooking chose to reproduce a no-bake recipe from the blog Baking and Creating With Avril.

Most of Avril’s recipes are desserts or require baking, but her Cauliflower and Broccoli Salad fit the bill. That it’s raw was a refreshing bonus during a record-breaking heat wave broiling much of the U.S. recently.

A taste test before it went into the refrigerator to mingle revealed the broccoli already had soaked up the dressing — much better than had the cauliflower. So this recipe could work as a broccoli-only salad. 

Some Koreafornian changes to the recipe list include adding Korean ponytail radish, which provided crunchiness and piquancy, and replacing the Italian-style seasoning of the original with more Hanshik-esque seasoning.

Lacking feta cheese in the house, I used queso fresco. This semisoft Mexican cheese is milder than feta but has a similar crumbly texture, so quesco freso is a good — not perfect — substitute.

Cauliflower and Broccoli Salad

Adapted from a recipe by Baking and Creating With Avril. Serves 6-8.

1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped in bite-sized pieces
1/2 head of broccoli, chopped in bite-sized pieces
1/2 red onion, chopped
1–2 총각무 chonggakmu (Korean ponytail radish), grated
2–4 ounces feta or queso fresco caesaro, crumbled
2 tablespoon powdered garlic
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon 고추가루 gochugaru (Korean chili powder)
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 cup California Olive Ranch Olive Oil Arbequina EVOO

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(See “California EVOO vs. Italian EVOO” below.)


  1. Place cut-up cauliflower and broccoli into a large bowl. Add chopped red onion and radishes. Set aside.
  2. For the dressing, combine all the dry ingredients with the olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce and vinegar and water in a jar that can be covered tightly with a lid. Once the lid is securely place on the jar, shake the jar for a minute or two until the ingredients are well-combined.
  3. Pour the dressing over the veggies and toss gently to coat.
  4. Fold in the feta or queso fresco.
  5. Refrigerate the salad for at least an hour to allow the vegetables to absorb some of the dressing.

California EVOO vs. Italian EVOO

If you want to use extra-virgin olive oil, look for California olive oil. Business Insider exposed the Italian olive oil industry in January. “In 2007 it was reported that only 4 percent of olive oil leaving Italy was pure Italian olive oil,” according to the news organization. One fake olive oil “recipe” discovered in Italy mixes chlorophyll with blander oils such as sunflower and soybean oil to mimic olive oil’s color.

Food Renegade followed up on that report in early July 2012, emphasizing a University of California at Davis study last year that “tested 124 different samples from eight major brands of extra-virgin olive oil. More than seventy percent of the imported oils failed.” The article gives tips on testing the authenticity of that olive oil in your cupboard.

Tom Mueller of The New Yorker magazine followed up on his 2007 olive oil industry expose with the 250-plus-page book Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil. His reporting turns on its head what many think they know about food safety, fraud, smuggling and even the Mafia itself.


  1. yum! This looks delicious and certainly sounds nutritious 😉 Broccoli is one of my absolute favorite veggies!! I had your blog this month and made your chocolate hamantaschen, they were fabulous. I had so much fun posting about your blog, it's awesome!

    • It was really good. I think one of the keys is making sure it marinades for a little while before serving.

  2. I bet the radish was fantastic in this!

    • Thanks. I also made your Shepard's pie (which I took to a potluck and very little of it returned) but I didn't post it on the blog.

  3. I love the Korean touches you made to this cruciferous salad, so interesting but full of flavor.

  4. Awesome job! This looks like a great salad, especially when its so hot out!

  5. What a great summer salad. Thanks for all the info on the olive oil did not know that. I have become a fan of O Olive Oils out of CA. BTW, I am one of your newest followers, look forward to sharing!

  6. cauliflower is a good idea any day in my opinion and i love it raw in salads. i know almost nothing about korean food so thank you for doing such a great job this month! you learn something new every day, yes?<br /><br />happy belated SRC reveal day!

  7. Hi! I&#39;m visiting from SRC Group D. I love broccoli and cauliflower so will have to give this a go. Looks delicious!

  8. Yum! I&#39;m a fellow group D&#39;er..just getting around to being able to read recipes (C: This sounds amazing.

  9. So simple and fresh for a fabulous side dish in the heat!


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