raw broccoli. not the stuff that food dreams are made of… yet so yummy when combined with a winning mix of flavors and textures. sweet, sour, creamy, crunchy, chewy, nutty.
this is inspired by the broccoli slaw in amish markets, adapted from smitten kitchen’s recipe, and amped up in sweetness and tanginess because that’s how i prefer my salads.
note to my husband: stop reading now. don’t say i didn’t warn you.
makes one large bowlful which you may or may not devour solo in one sitting.
what you need:
- 2 heads of broccoli
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 of a small red onion or 1/4 of a large red onion, chopped to small fine pieces
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 4 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- salt & pepper as needed
what you do:
make the dressing by vigorously fork-whisking the buttermilk, mayo, cider vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt. add your chopped onions to this mixture and let it sit a few minutes while you cut up your broccoli and toast your nuts.
toasting is optional, but i think it adds an extra dimension of nutty flavor that is well worth the 5 minutes it takes to toast. to do this, place a regular frying pan on medium/lowish heat and spread your almond slices in the pan in as thin a layer as possible so there’s minimal overlap. (do not grease or add oil to the pan. keep it dry.) let it heat up for 2-3 minutes then give the pan a good shake (or stir) to try to make the slices flip over and let it sit another 1-2 minutes. when you start to smell the nutty fragrance of toasting, keep your eye on it closely and either keep flipping for another minute or cut off the heat, because you don’t want them to burn. take the pan off the heat when most of the nuts have a nice golden tan but DON’T LET THEM BURN. almond slices = nasty bitter, while toasted almonds = tastefully nutty. (since i’ve distractedly let too many batches of almond slices burn in the past, i’ve started taking them off the heat a little early.)
cut up your broccoli into bite-size pieces. some people like julienned strips, some people like wide slices. personally, i like to aim for mini trees and oddly bubbly shaped chunks of stem. don’t sleep on the stem. the crunch is great.
throw your cut-up broccoli, dried cranberries, and toasted nuts into a large bowl. grind a generous amount of pepper on top. pour half your dressing over the mixture and toss it all together. if it looks dry, add more dressing and toss again. just try not to over-drown the broccoli florets like i did the last time i made this.