Cauliflower, Fennel, and Pear Salad with Garlic-Anchovy Dressing
If you have a mandolin slicer, this is a great opportunity to dust it off and use it to thinly slice the cauliflower, fennel bulb, and pear.
1 (2-ounce) tin anchovy filets in olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled
Juice of ½ lemon
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon whole-grain mustard
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¾ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
½ head cauliflower, cored and thinly sliced
1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced
1 red pear, cored, halved, and thinly sliced
Handful of parsley leaves, finely chopped
Remove the anchovies from the tin (reserve the oil), place in a mortar with the garlic, and mash with a pestle until you have made a thick paste. Work in the lemon juice, red wine vinegar, mustard, and black pepper. Scrape this mixture into a medium-sized mixing bowl.
Put the reserved anchovy oil in a measuring cup. Add olive oil to measure ¾ cup. Pour the oil in a very thin, steady stream into the anchovy mixture while whisking constantly. The dressing will begin to emulsify, and you can increase the stream of oil until it is all incorporated. Whisk in the grated Parmesan cheese.
(Alternatively, if you have an immersion blender, you can make the dressing by placing the anchovies, garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, mustard, and pepper into a wide-mouth glass pint jar and blending them together until smooth. Add the oil as instructed above, and then blend in the Parmesan cheese.)
Place the cauliflower, fennel, pear, and parsley in a large bowl. Add about ½ cup of the dressing and toss gently, trying not to break up the vegetables too much. Taste the salad, and add more dressing if needed.
Scatter with shaved Parmesan immediately before serving.