Saturday, August 7, 2010

Fancy Broccoli Salad with Buttermilk Dressing [Menu]


As much as I like vegetables, they commonly get stiffed in my kitchen. Matt's not one to really enjoy salads. And, honestly, his severe dedication to french baguettes (or just any crisp crusted bread-like delight) always sounds so much more interesting than my attempt to throw a red pepper into the meal. And I can't be blamed for partaking - I'm just trying to make my husband happy.

Choppin' the broccoli

I've always loved broccoli salad. The color. The taste. It's a food that is entirely based on combining contrary flavors -which, personally, I love. Some of my favorite food memories are of going to Kroger, twenty dollar bill in hand, with my best friend and buying everything we could afford from the deli (and then going home and eating it allll..). Some were less successful ventures then others, but I remember fine times in my friend's basement, playing video games, with a bite of broccoli salad on my fork.

Cranberries are dandyComing together

This recipe has been somewhat inspired by a Paula Dean's broccoli slaw, at least in the sense of "this-is-where-the-idea-was-born," but then I sort of ventured out on my own. As such, it's completely to my tastes, but you should add different dried fruits or cheeses depending on your tastes. Personally, though, I love the blue cheese in this (and I usually don't like blue cheese all that much), and the pecans are perfect.

Buttermilk dressingWhisk whisk whisk

Sadly, this salad was not for my husband's (somewhat finicky) palate. However, this is one time I consider leftovers a welcome addition to our fridge.

Leftovers are rare but welcome

Recipe Ahead!

Fancy Broccoli Salad

You will need...
1 small bowl
1 whisk
1 large mixing bowl
measuring cups and spoons
a sharp knife
2 heads of broccoli (trimmed)
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles
1 cup [Sweet & Spicy Pecans]

Buttermilk Dressing
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp (white) sugar
4 tbsp finely chopped shallot

I would suggest making your dressing first. To do this, you will combine the buttermilk, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, sugar, and chopped shallots in a small bowl. Whisk together and you're done! Pour that into the bottom of the large mixing bowl.
Then, chop up your broccoli! Personally, I remove most the stem and then I cut the floweretes into "just-smaller-than-bite-sized" pieces, with small chunks of stem thrown in for texture. Put that into your large mixing bowl on top of your dressing, along with your dried cranberries and blue cheese crumbles.
If you're planning on using plain nuts (which would taste just fine), go ahead and throw those into the mix, as well. But, if you'll be spicing your nuts, you'll probably want to keep them separate to keep the "candied" outside crisp. (Just put a handful on the top when serving.)

This recipe should yield about 7 cups of salad. And, if properly refrigerated, would probably last for up to a week.
I hope you enjoy!

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