I have a thing for broccoli salads. I thought everyone did, but I have been set straight.

Apparently most people (or at least most people I know) think raw broccoli is gross and the dressing most people toss it with is too sweet and the chunks are usually too big. And here I've been enjoying it all these years! I feel sort of like Berger when Carrie told him about the scrunchies. I am here to defend broccoli salad.

The recipe I like comes from Smitten Kitchen, from the hilarious Deb Perelman, who is not afraid of a good broccoli slaw. She got the low-down from her husband's cousin. (Though apparently her husband also stands firmly in the anti-raw-broccoli camp. His loss.) At any rate, it is everything we broccoli-salad lovers want it to be: yes, the dressing is sweet, the broccoli is crunchy, and the almonds add just the loveliest little bit of nuttiness. Oh yeah, and there are enough red onions and shallots in the mix that you taste them on your breath for at least an hour afterward.

In short, it is heaven.


This recipe (with one change) comes from Deb Perelman at SmittenKitchen.com. A note about buttermilk: in many recipes you can substitute powdered buttermilk or whole milk plain yogurt for the real deal, but I don't recommend that here. You want the thickness and the sweetness of true buttermilk for this recipe. It makes about six cups of salad. 

1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 small shallot, finely chopped (scant 1/4 cup)
2 heads broccoli
1/2 cup thinly sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 small red onion, sliced very thin
sea salt and pepper

First make the dressing. Combine the buttermilk, mayo, cider vinegar, sugar, and shallot in a mason jar and shake well. Set aside.

Trim the broccoli stems and cut the heads into big pieces. Cut each big piece into fine slivers—remember, it's staying raw and you want crunch, not inedibility—you can use either a knife or a mandolin. Toss the broccoli in a large bowl with the almonds, red onions, and all of the dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste (it doesn't need much). Serve at once. 

The salad will keep a couple of days in the fridge, though the almonds will get less crunchy as time goes on.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
All text, photographs, and other original material copyright 2008-2010 by Elspeth Hay unless otherwise noted.