Last week I shared my favorite squash recipe; this week I’m featuring my favorite broccoli recipe. Broccoli is not in season at this time of the year; but the grocery store was featuring it as a “loss leader” and beautiful bunches of broccoli and cauliflower were on sale positioned just inside the front door. How can you pass up a bargain?
Favorite Broccoli Recipe
My favorite broccoli recipe is for “Broccoli Salad.” If you don’t like broccoli, try this recipe. I often take it to covered dish suppers–with rave reviews. The key to making this recipe is to blanch the broccoli until it is tender but still slightly crisp. Then the combination of broccoli and cheese and a slightly sweet-sour dressing makes a tasty recipe. Plus you can add all sorts of other “surprise” ingredients such as raisins, peanuts, bacon bits.
Broccoli is a very healthy vegetable — rich in vitamins, fiber and phytochemicals which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is a cruciferous vegetable, a member of the family Brassicaceae (also called Cruciferae). Other related vegetables include cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy and Brussels sprouts. All these vegetables have health benefits. Broccoli–with dark green leaves–is especially rich in vitamins including Vitamins A, C, K and folic acid. Broccoli is a cool weather vegetable–it grows best in the fall and winter in Louisiana. Here are some young broccoli plants which I attempted to grow. A good start; but not a good finish. Guess I’ll just look for grocery store specials.
Making the recipe
Here are the ingredients for my broccoli salad. I added a few raisins (but not too many) — they give a sweet taste — and peanuts give crunch.
The key is to steam or blanch the broccoli until it is tender but still a little crisp. The method that works best for me is to steam the broccoli florets using a microwave oven. I place broccoli florets in a microwavable bowl with a small amount of water, cover with plastic wrap and steam for 6 minutes. This method works every time; they are always tender-crisp. You might have to experiment with the timing–as microwave ovens heat differently. Avoid over-cooking broccoli because mushy broccoli just isn’t appealing.
Drain the steamed broccoli florets and cool. Mix in the other ingredients including the cheese and a small amount of minced onion. Don’t omit the cheese — it’s the addition of cheese that really makes the broccoli “pop”.
Stir together the dressing ingredients which is mayonnaise, cider vinegar, sugar and salt (optional). Actually I skipped the salt. The sugar gives just a little sweetness and the vinegar adds a tart flavor. Fold into the salad. Chill. Not too often that a healthy recipe is this delicious–this one is both.
Favorite Broccoli Salad by MayleesKitchen
- 2 bunches of broccoli (1 pound as purchased) which yields 4 cups broccoli florets
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped white onion, (about 1/4 small white onion)
- 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
- Tomato slices or cherry tomatoes for garnish (optional)
Method and Steps
- Wash and trim broccoli bunches and cut into bite size flowerettes. Place in microwavable bowl and add 1/4 cup water. Cover with plastic wrap. Heat on high setting for 6 minutes until broccoli is tender-crisp.
- Remove from microwave oven, drain and cool to room temperature.
- Add cheese, onion, peanuts and raisins to broccoli.
- Mix dressing ingredients — mayonnaise, cider vinegar, sugar and salt (optional) — and pour over broccoli salad. Fold in to combine.
- Chill for several hours.
- If desired, garnish with tomato slices or a few cherry tomatoes.
Broccoli. The World’s Healthiest Foods //www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=9
Broccoli. Whikipedia //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broccoli
The broccoli salad looks delightful. I never would have thought about using peanuts in a broccoli recipe, but it would add a nice crunch.