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Monday, May 30, 2011

Broccoli Salad

This is a creature I had not encountered before moving to the Midwest.  I am not going to engage in culinary anthropology and draw the sweeping conclusion that this is therefore a Midwestern dish (as my lack of exposure may derive merely from a vegetable-deficient upbringing rather than geographical particulars), though there is clearly a link between the Midwest love of mayonnaise-covered fruit and most broccoli salad recipes.

I have discovered a superior dressing recipe (originally for pasta salad, thanks again Cooking Light!) that is ideally suited to a vegetable salad such as this.  It doesn't break (as many a typical mayo-and-vinegar broccoli salad dressing does), but stays creamy even when made a full day in advance.  It also employs buttermilk which significantly reduces the fat content of the dressing versus a full mayo dressing.  And it's got a little zing from chili (or chile) powder.  This dressing works well for other vegetable salads as well, including coleslaw.

I am using chive flowers right now b/c 1) I'm just so tickled you can eat them, 2) they've got only another couple of days before they dry up in the garden, and 3) they're really pretty in the salad.  Use 1/4 cup chopped chives or red onion instead, if you want.

Buttermilk-dressed Broccoli Salad
Makes 6 servings

1 large bunch broccoli
1/2 cup sunflower kernels
1/2 cup golden raisins
4 chive flowers, picked into florets
1/4 cup buttermilk (or 1 tbsp buttermilk powder and 1/4 cup water)
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
3 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp sour cream
3 tbsp mayo
1 tsp chile or chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Cut the broccoli florets into small pieces.  Peel broccoli stems, making sure not to leave any woody parts, and cut into 1/4" dice.  Mix broccoli with raisins, sunflower kernels and chive flowers.

Whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over salad.  Toss gently to coat broccoli thoroughly.  Refrigerate at least 1 hour, or overnight.  Serve cold or at room temperature. Pin It

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