Joseph Leonard's Fried-Crunchy-Salty-Tasty Cauliflower Salad

The cruciferous gets cool at Joseph Leonard.
The cruciferous gets cool at Joseph Leonard.
Lauren Shockey

Eating a green salad is often pointless. Save for a few very good ones that actually use farm-fresh lettuces, most are like eating slightly crunchy air. Simply put, a good salad needs substance. And Joseph Leonard features one that fits the bill.

The caramelized cauliflower salad offers the cruciferous veggie both in golden florets and in raw shavings, perhaps so you can simultaneously feel virtuous and gluttonous. Toasted pine nuts add a robust note that pairs excellently with cauliflower, capers bring a punch of salinity, and some thinly sliced pickled red onion lends a snappy tang. A very light glossing of mustard vinaigrette coats the veggies, but the beauty of this salad is that each element really shines through; it almost doesn't need dressing. Available for $12, it's on the expensive side of the salad spectrum, but it's a filling salad, ideal for a spring lunch. And yes, you'll still find a whisper of green. Only it's whole parsley and tarragon leaves, and not lettuce. Thank God for that.

Joseph Leonard 170 Waverly Place 646-429-8383

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