I know that whining about the heat is like preaching to the choir for most of you, because from making my daily blog rounds I'm finding that nearly everyone is preparing food that eliminates the need to turn on the oven or stove. So I'll be different today. I won't whine about the heat. See how grown up I can be?
Instead I'll just promise you that this salad is going to be refreshing and light-tasting and delight all you warm weather whiners.
Let's start with the dressing, shall we?
Italian Dressing Mix (adapted from allrecipes.com)
1 TBSP garlic powder
1 TBSP onion powder
1 TBSP Splenda (or sugar)
2 TBSP dried oregano leaves
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried basil
1 TBSP dried parsley
1/4 tsp celery salt
2 TBSP kosher salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Mix all the spices together in a small bowl. Place in an airtight container and store for future batches of dressing. You're only going to need 1 TBSP for this recipe.
2 TBSP white vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 TBSP water
1 TBSP of the above spice mix
Place ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake well to combine. Store in refrigerator until ready to make salad. (It actually tastes better if you can make the dressing a day ahead, but you can also add it immediately to the vegetables as long as you refrigerate the entire salad for several hours to marry the flavors.)
Assembling the salad:
1/2 large head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 cup of diced sweet onion
3 medium tomatoes, cored and seeded, diced
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (I also shaved a few slices for the top to make it pretty!)
Combine all vegetables in a large bowl. Pour dressing over the vegetables and stir well to combine. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Refrigerate for several hours before serving.