If you are looking for a low-carb alternative to traditional creamy potato salad, this cauliflower salad ticks all the boxes.
Cauliflower is one of those great ingredients that is available all year round, depending on the variety you use. You can have cauliflower varieties perfect for spring picnic salads and varieties that make great fall salads.
I think it is an incredibly versatile yet underutilized veg, especially on the picnic scene. Take my Cauliflower Buffalo Dip recipe, for example. It’s a wonderful picnic dip, especially for the cooler months. Or, my Cauliflower Hash Browns, which make a great picnic brunch dish or bite-size appetizer.
Why I Love This Picnic Salad
- Durable ingredients: The cauliflower, celery, and sundried tomatoes travel well and hold up well in a picnic setting.
- Make-ahead friendly: A fantastic make-a-head salad, the salad tastes even better when prepared in advance.
- Customizable: You can easily adapt the ingredients to suit your preferences or dietary restrictions.
- Long-lasting freshness: Leftovers can be stored for up to four days in an airtight container.
See my recipe card below for a complete list of the ingredients with measurements and notes.
- Roast Your Cauliflower: Another alternative to blanching, for more depth of flavor, is to roast your cauliflower florets. Place the florets on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and a little salt, and roast until softened and golden.
- Shallots: If you don’t have shallots, chives are a great substitute, even dried ones at a pinch.
- Non-Vegetarian Version: You can sub sun-dried tomatoes for bacon bits for a non-veggie version.
- Add Cruch and Texture: Seeds such as pumpkin or sunflower make a great addition for extra crunch.
- Mayonnaise: Greek yogurt, sour cream, or a dairy-free alternative like vegan mayonnaise can be used as a substitute for traditional mayonnaise.
- Add Protein: Add cooked chicken, tofu, or any protein you choose to make the salad more filling and balanced.
How to Make
Step 1: Boil eggs and set aside to cool.
Step 2: Chop cauliflower into florets – larger is better so they don’t fall apart.
Step 3: Blanch the cauliflower in boiling water or use a steamer. This should only take a few minutes as you want the cauliflower to be cooked yet still firm so it holds its florets. If you overcook it, it will end up mush in the salad. Set aside to cool.
Step 4: Chop celery, shallots, and sundried tomatoes into small pieces.
Step 5: Place all the ingredients in a big bowl – cooked cauliflower, celery, shallots, boiled eggs (reserve some egg wedges for a top garnish), sundried tomatoes, mustard, and mayonnaise into a big salad bowl.
Step 6: Toss all the ingredients together until well-coated and mixed. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Step 7: When ready to serve, top with the remaining egg quarters and sprinkle with dried herbs. Any remaining shallots or chives can also make a nice garnish.
Yes, you can use frozen cauliflower if you prefer. Just make sure to thaw and drain it thoroughly before using it in the recipe. Depending on the cauliflower, it may not need to be cooked as it might make it too mushy.
This salad can be made a day before, allowing the flavors to meld. It’s perfect for prepping ahead of time.
Don’t Overcook the Cauliflower
While you can use raw cauliflower (let it sit in the dressing for as long as possible before serving), this recipe calls for cooked cauliflower. The trick here is to blanch the cauliflower lightly – don’t overcook it, or it will turn to mush in your salad.
- 2 eggs
- 1 small head cauliflower
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 2 shallots
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- ½ cup sundried tomatoes
- Salt & pepper
- Parsley or herb of choice for garnish
- Boil eggs and set aside to cool.
- Chop cauliflower into florets – larger is better so they don’t fall apart.
- Blanch the cauliflower in boiling water or use a steamer. This should only take a few minutes as you want the cauliflower to be cooked, yet still firm so it holds its florets. If you overcook it, it will end up mush in the salad. Set aside to cool.
- Chop celery, shallots and sundried tomatoes into small pieces.
- Place the cooked cauliflower, celery, shallots, boiled eggs (reserve some egg wedges for a top garnish) and sundried tomatoes into a big salad bowl. Toss with mayonnaise and dijon mustard. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
- Top with remaining egg quarters and sprinkle with herb of your choice. Any remaining shallots or chives make a nice garnish.
- Enjoy immediately or refrigerate it until chill.
- This salad tastes better when it has had time to sit (much like potato salad) so can be made a day in advance.
- Keep leftovers in an airtight container for up to four days.
- You can always sub sundried tomatoes for bacon bits for a non-vegetarian version.
- Add seeds such as pumpkin or sunflower for extra texture and crunch.