A nice, cool and refreshing broccoli salad is just what the weatherman ordered. It looks nice, too. :)
It’s summer in Texas again and the dog days of summer are upon us. So far, other than the lack of rain, the weather has been fairly nice up to about a week ago. Through the end of June we had seen only 4 – 5 days over 100 F for the year. Now that we’re in July, things are heating up and the last 5 days have been 100+ F with little relief in sight. It’s times like these when we start looking for things that are cool and refreshing, like this broccoli salad. Given the abundant bounty of the summer, finding fresh vegetables and fruits is a snap. Vegetable salads are relatively quick, satisfying and a perfect with cold soups or sandwiches. They also make a great lite lunch.
Now, broccoli salad isn’t something new or unique. In fact, if you go to Google and type in “Broccoli Salad” you will get 902,000 hits. There are broccoli salads with vinaigrettes; broccoli salads with sour cream dressings; broccoli salads with mayonnaise based dressings. Some people blanch the broccoli; whereas, others do not. The differences go on and on. Like other foods, it’s really quite intriguing seeing the different permutations on broccoli salad. Our version of broccoli salad has its own twists. It’s a mayonnaise and yogurt based dressing with dried cherries, chorizo and almonds. It’s loaded with flavor, slightly sweet yet savory and crunchy from the florets and toasted almonds. When I told Baby Lady I was using chorizo in the salad she thought I lost my mind. Very politely she didn’t say anything believing she truly would not like it but not wanting to offend me she would eat it anyway. Boy was she surprised at the wonderful flavors imparted into the salad from the chorizo. This is a wonderful salad you owe it to yourself to make. Ask the Baby Lady and she’ll tell you the same. ;) Here is what we did.
- 3 crowns fresh broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets (about 1 to 1-1/2 lb)
- 1/2 cup red onion, small dice
- 1/2 cup celery, small dice
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/3 cup dried cherries
- 1 cup almond slivers, toasted
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 Tbsp wildflower honey
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 6 oz chorizo
- 1 tsp salt
First things first, toast the almond slivers and set aside.
Next, bring a pot of water with 1/2 tsp baking soda to a rolling boil and add the broccoli florets
Cook for 90 seconds and strain.
Immediately place the florets into ice cold water to stop the cooking.
You want the florets crisp and firm but not completely raw. Par blanching the broccoli makes them a little more tender than raw. The baking soda helps keep their green color.
Now, remove the casing from the chorizo, cook and set aside. This is a wonderful chorizo Baby Lady & I buy when we go to El Paso to see her family. Notice how little fat is in the pan.
Next make the dressing by adding the mayonnaise to a mixing bowl.
Next, add the yogurt
the balsamic vinegar
the red onions
Drain the florets from the ice water and return to a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the broccoli.
Fold the dressing into the florets being somewhat careful so as not to tear up the florets. The florets are still predominately raw so this is not a real problem. Just don’t get overly aggressive in mixing everything together.
Add the toasted almond slivers and fold to incorporate.
Serve & enjoy. We most certainly did, even the skeptical Baby Lady. :)