Healthy, unique and season-less, this delicious salad pairs perfectly with sandwiches, wraps and soups. It’s also wonderful for parties and potlucks!
I couldn’t pass up the huge bag of beautiful broccoli crowns while shopping at Sam’s club last week. After all the holiday indulgences, I imagined serving lots of roasted broccoli with lean entrees like salmon or chicken breasts. Roasted, caramelized broccoli is like candy to us, so I knew I have no problem using up the mammoth bag.
But before I even got a chance to crank up my oven, I spotted this salad over on Pinterest. “Yum”, I thought to myself, as I looked at the chopped broccoli salad. Well, I thought it was broccoli. When I clicked over to the recipe however, I discovered I was way… off. It was actually a kale and Brussels sprout salad, which also sounded delicious. But my mind was already spinning with ideas for a broccoli salad and, while I didn’t use this exact recipe, it was definitely an inspiration for me.
It didn’t take me long to pull out that big bag 0f broccoli, a small red onion, dates, golden raisins, a small chunk of Parmesan cheese and all my favorite, time-saving kitchen tools. To me, shaved broccoli has a wonderful texture and makes a pretty presentation, so I used my mandolin to make quick work of the green florets. A sharp knife will also work well, it’ll just take a bit longer. For the red onion I used this handy dandy little chopper and had it finely diced in less than a minute. I wanted shavings of Parmesan to add a salty touch with the crunchy broccoli, sweet dates and raisins and the sharp red onion. This simple, well built veggie peeler was the perfect tool to get the job done quickly.
The salad on Pinterest had a lemon-mustard dressing which sounded wonderful. I changed up the proportions a bit, added a little squeeze of honey and a spoonful of coarse, grainy mustard to enhance the Dijon. I added an easy step which mellows out the flavor of the garlic. It involves simply combining the lemon juice, minced garlic and salt in a bowl and letting it sit while you chop up the veggies. It’s an old Alice Water’s trick that really does work!
I gave a small container of this Shaved Broccoli Parmesan Salad to my son Nick and his wife Lindsay over the weekend. I got a few texts later that evening: “The broccoli salad is delish!!!”, “Yum!” and “I love it!” I gave it a few more teeny tweaks and it’s now ready – for you! I think you’ll love it too. It’s perfect as a healthy, fresh side for sandwiches and soups but it also goes nicely with grilled, roasted or pan-seared entrees. I love it for lunch with a warm pita or a panini.
It’s one of those salads that keeps well too. It actually gets better after it sits for a spell and all the flavors have time to meld and marry. That makes leftovers perfect for school and work lunches or a quick side on a busy night.
Next time you’re shopping, be sure to add some pretty broccoli to your shopping basket. I think I’ll pick up some more too, maybe I’ll get to that roasted broccoli!
P.S. We’re having some difficulty with the “Search” function on the blog. We’re working on it currently and hope it will be back in working order soon!
Lots of people ask what kind of cookware, small appliances, cutlery, etc. I use in the kitchen. Here’s what I used to make this recipe.
- ¾ cup roughly chopped walnuts
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup golden raisins
- ¾ cup chopped dates about 3 ounces
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 medium cloves garlic
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 pound broccoli crowns
- 1 small red onion peeled
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons grainy mustard
- ½ teaspoon honey
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3- ounce piece Parmigiano Reggiano
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine the oil, salt and walnuts on a sheet pan and toss to coat. Bake for 8-12 minutes, or until nuts are pale golden brown and fragrant. Stir nuts to redistribute, halfway through the baking time. Remove from oven, stir and set aside to cool.
- Combine dates and 2 teaspoons water in a small microwave-safe bowl or cup. Cover with plastic wrap and heat on high power for 40 seconds. Remove from microwave and set aside to cool. Repeat procedure with golden raisins and 2 teaspoons of water. Set aside to cool.
- Combine lemon juice, garlic and salt in a small bowl. Set aside while preparing the veggies.
- Thinly slice broccoli florets with a sharp knife or a mandolin and place in a large bowl.
- Cut onion into small dice and add to the bowl with the broccoli. Also add dates and raisins.
- For the dressing, add Dijon mustard, grainy mustard and honey to the lemon juice mixture. Stir well with a small fork. Slowly add olive oil continuing to stir till all oil is incorporated. Add black pepper and stir. Pour dressing over the broccoli and stir well.
- Add the Parmesan and walnuts, reserving a handful of each for garnish. You can serve the salad immediately or refrigerate for several hours. If refrigerated, remove about 15-20 minutes before serving. Garnish with the reserved parmesan and walnuts just before serving.