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Cauliflower salad with spicy shallot vinaigrette {Ensalada de coliflor al aji}

Easy recipe for  a cauliflower salad, tossed with a spicy shallot vinaigrette made with Anaheim pepper, jalapeño,  shallots, champagne vinegar, olive oil, garlic and cilantro. This spicy cauliflower salad, also known as ensalada de coliflor al aji, is a quick and easy to make salad recipe – perfect for those who love some spice and heat in a refreshing salad.

Easy cauliflower salad recipe

Cauliflower is one of those vegetables that used to confuse me and leave me without many options, what could I cook with it? A soup, just plain as a side, it just seemed pretty plain and boring. Then one day I had a cauliflower that needed to be used, and a lot of peppers and jalapeños, so I decided to spice the cauliflower up a little with a hot pepper and shallot vinaigrette. We all loved it. The husband started buying cauliflowers more frequently and requesting it extra spicy.  

Cauliflower salad with spicy vinaigrette

I used a mix Anaheim and Jalapeño peppers for this recipe, but it also works well with spicier peppers if you want a higher level of heat – for a lower amount of heat, you can just use the Anaheim peppers. This cauliflower salad is very easy to make and can be served warm or cold. As a cold salad, it is one of those that tastes better the longer the cauliflower has been marinating in the vinaigrette. Serve this salad as a starter salad or as a side dish.

Cauliflower salad recipe

Cauliflower salad with spicy shallot vinaigrette

Cauliflower salad with a spicy shallot vinaigrette made with Anaheim pepper, jalapeño, shallots, champagne vinegar, olive oil, garlic and cilantro.
4.86 from 7 votes
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Course: Appetizer, Salad, Starter
Cuisine: International, Latin fusion
Keyword: Aji, Cauliflower, Cauliflower salad, Shallot vinaigrette, Spicy
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 medium sized cauliflower washed and cut into florets

Spicy shallot vinaigrette:

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 Anaheim pepper
  • 1 jalapeño or red fresno chili or Serrano peppers, adjust to taste – remove seeds/veins for less heat
  • 2 medium shallots
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1 tbs champagne vinegar can also use apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbs water
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs finely chopped cilantro
  • Salt to taste


  • Bring water to boil and add the cauliflower, boil for 2-3 minutes. Drain.
  • To make the vinaigrette combine the garlic, Anaheim pepper, jalapeño, shallots, lime juice, vinegar, water and olive oil in a mini food processor and pulse until all the ingredients are finely minced.
  • Toss the cauliflower with the vinaigrette and salt to taste. Can be served immediately or chilled until ready to serve.
  • Sprinkled with the chopped cilantro right before serving.
Spicy shallot vinaigrette
cauliflower salad
cauliflower salad

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  1. This looks delicious! I usually make croquettes and I’ve made them grilled. This is such a refreshing take on it! Thank you!

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