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Broccoli Crunch Salad Recipe

October 11, 2011

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Do you ever get in a rut with a particular food?  I am ever so grateful that everyone in my house likes broccoli, which is one of the most nutritious foods out there, but I get a little bored with broccoli with garlic and oil, broccoli with lemon and parmesan cheese or sesame-ginger broccoli.  I have even pureed it in a food processor with butter and salt — oh, we should make that together some time! — but I have a new fun recipe for you.  I am really digging this Broccoli Crunch Salad.  It’s based on a salad I saw in the prepared food case at Whole Foods, but I think it’s better.

Broccoli is in season all year here in California, and I have made this salad to accompany lots of different dishes.  In the summer it goes really well with anything spicy or slathered with barbeque sauce.  I also love it as a quick do-ahead salad to go with Saturday sandwiches in the fall when we’re all rushing around.  The other night we had a bunch of people over to break the fast (what fast?).  Even though I made a few casseroles, Swiss chard frittata in a sheet pan, tuna salad and a green salad, my husband still likes the traditional bagel and deli platter.  Yom Kippur comes once a year and the poor guy doesn’t eat for 24 hours.  I’ll give him a bagel.  But you know how I feel about coleslaw, and I just can’t bring myself to go there so I made this broccoli salad instead.  Crunchy, tangy with a little sweet.  Everyone loved it, or maybe they were just starving.

I have seen lots of broccoli salad recipes that call for completely raw broccoli and although it’s way easier to skip the steaming step, I’m just not a fan.  First of all, raw broccoli is a tad hard to digest for many people and I actually prefer the sweeter taste of it lightly steamed.  But this is called Broccoli Crunch Salad for a reason, so you need to follow the recipe and only steam it for 60 seconds.  The crunch in the broccoli, plus the crunch in the apples and walnuts is entirely addictive.  I will admit, Mr. Picky has yet to try anything with dressing, so I saved some broccoli, apples, walnuts and dried fruit for him on the side and he gobbled it up.  I’m so flexible, aren’t I?  You can be flexible, too, with this salad.  Use sunflower seeds or cashews for the walnuts, any kind of dried fruit, and I surmise you can even use shredded cabbage for the broccoli, but it wouldn’t be a Broccoli Crunch Salad,  now would it?  Just don’t be calling it coleslaw.

broccoli crunch salad

adapted from Whole Foods

serves 4-5 (the salad in the photos was tripled.)

¾ pound broccoli crowns, cut into small bite-size florets and stems diced, about 5 cups

1 crisp apple, cored and diced*

1/3 cup unsulphured currants, dried blueberries or dried cranberries

1/3 cup chopped raw walnuts

¼ cup finely diced red onion

Dressing:

½ cup whole, unsweetened plain yogurt

1 ½ Tablespoons tahini (sesame paste) (I would imagine raw almond butter would work, too.)

2-3 Tablespoons 100% pure maple syrup

¼ cup apple cider vinegar, preferably unpasteurized

1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

  1. In a saucepan with a steamer insert, bring a few inches of water to a boil.  Place the broccoli on the steamer basket and cover with the lid.  Steam for 1 minute.  Transfer broccoli to a large plate in a single layer and allow to cool.
  2. In a large bowl toss together broccoli, apples, currants, nuts and red onion.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together dressing ingredients.  Taste and add more maple syrup if you like the dressing sweeter.  Pour over broccoli mixture and toss until broccoli is well coated.
  4. Let sit for 30 minutes so that broccoli can absorb some of the dressing.

*If prepping the apples in advance, let the apples sit in a bowl of water with a good squeeze of lemon juice.

Notes:  This can be made with raw broccoli, too.

 

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14 Responses to “Broccoli Crunch Salad Recipe”

  1. […] browsed the internet for a basic broccoli salad recipe before we had guests over for a BBQ. I found one that looked very appealing and healthy, so I thought I’d give it a try and substitute what I […]

  2. Liz says:

    Another winner! Made this for our friends this weekend and there were no leftovers – the men cleaned the bowl. I think I might make it again tonight!

  3. isabella says:

    Thank you for posting this recipe. I love broccoli but I was getting so bored of making it the same way every week. This was so delicious! I loved the dressing. What kind of meat dish would taste good with this recipe?

    • Pamela says:

      Lots of things! Roasted or barbecued chicken, spice-rubbed salmon or poached fish, grilled beef. I don’t eat pork, but I imagine it goes well with pork chops or loin of pork. I know someone that served it as part of her Thanksgiving buffet. Very versatile!

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Just made the salad tonight and it was great. I was getting so bored with steamed broccoli. The dressing is great. It has a kick to it!! I think I steamed the broccoli a little too long – you meant one minute!! My husband, who is not a vegetable fan, had two huge bowls. This will be a weekly dish!

  5. Sally Jo says:

    This is sooo yummy! I didn’t have maple syrup so used Trader Joes (greek) whole yogurt w/ honey. Very delish!
    I love all the various types of crunchiness.
    Thank you Pamela!

  6. DJ Melzer says:

    Oh, this is my favorite salad! Are the apples new? More crunch, I’ll take it!

    • Pamela says:

      You noticed! Yes, I add apples in the fall when they are nice and crisp. I used Honeycrisp here, but I think any crunchy variety would be delish.

  7. Pamela says:

    Ours, too! I make it once a week, so always looking for news ways to serve it.

  8. Peir Serota says:

    yum delish!!! thanks for this one. broccoli is my fav

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