chocolate hippos

broccoli salad

I had one of those weekends that started off with an almond croissant Saturday morning and didn’t end until I polished off a Saint Louie pizza Sunday night.  I am writing you this post from a post-pizza coma.  The one productive thing I was able to pull off was to prepare a giant bowl of broccoli salad that I can eat for lunches this week.

Whether you had a weekend like I did or not, you have to try this salad.  Don’t be put off by the ingredients….they all come together to make a salad that I am sure will become a part of your salad rotation.  Since broccoli is easy to come by year round, it is one of those salads that perks me up in the middle of February when most traditional salad ingredients are hard to come by.

Broccoli Salad (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

The biggest change I made to this salad was to get rid of the mayonnaise in the buttermilk dressing….I hate processed store bought mayonnaise.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a great homemade aioli, but I think store bought mayo tastes like chemicals and has a weird texture.  You won’t miss it, I promise.

1 large bunch or 2 small bunches broccoli, flowerets and top parts of stems cut into large chunks

1/2 cup blanched, slivered almonds, toasted (or you can just toast and chop whole raw almonds)

1/2 cup dried cranberries or golden raisins (cranberries are my preference)

1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped (you can chop in food processor when finished chopping broccoli)

1 recipe Buttermilk Dressing (see recipe below)

Working in batches, pulse broccoli in food processor until chopped.

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Transfer to a large salad bowl, and add almonds, cranberries and red onion.

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Set aside while making dressing.

Buttermilk Dressing

1 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 tablespoon agave or honey

salt and pepper

Add all ingredients to a jar with a tight lid and shake.  Store in refrigerator up to 1 week.  When ready to use, pour over salad.

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Toss well to coat and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary.

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Serve immediately.  Leftover keep 2-3 days in the refrigerator.  The nuts loose a bit of their crunch after the first day, but the salad still tastes awesome.

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