I’m seeing green! Green broccoli is only the beginning. I keep looking up for relief from this shockingly green salad only to be struck by shades of bright, fresh, springtime green outside my windows. The tall trees and new grass look positively electric under our overcast sky. Blink, blink, blink.
Spring is undeniably here and, with it, comes potlucks and picnics. We celebrated Jordan’s birthday in the park on Sunday. Sarah brought an awesome mayo-free broccoli and potato salad, which vaguely inspired this broccoli slaw. It’s not too far off from my Greek broccoli salad and colorful beet and quinoa salad, but it was just too good to keep to myself.
Shredded broccoli florets form the foundation for this slaw, which you can easily make yourself in your food processor (or you can skip a step and buy pre-shredded broccoli slaw). Cooked quinoa blends right in, thanks to its similar texture and complementary flavor. Add toasty almonds, a tangy honey-mustard dressing and chopped basil for little bursts of freshness flavor, and you have one fantastic mayo-free broccoli slaw.
- 1 pound broccoli or 16 ounces shredded broccoli slaw
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons smooth Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or more lemon juice, to taste
- 1 tablespoon honey, more to taste
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- To cook the quinoa: First, rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh colander under running water for a minute or two. In a medium-sized pot, combine the rinsed quinoa and 1 cup water. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then cover the pot, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the quinoa from heat and let the pot rest, still covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover the pot, drain off any excess water and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Set it aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, toast the almonds: In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the almonds, stirring frequently, until they are fragrant and starting to turn golden on the edges, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large serving bowl to cool.
- To prepare the broccoli (if you're not using prepared broccoli slaw), trim off any brown bits from the florets and stems, then slice the florets off the stems into manageable pieces. Use a paring knife to peel off the tough, woody perimeter of the broccoli stems and then discard those pieces. Now you can feed the broccoli florets through your food processor using the slicing blade, then switch to the grating blade to shred the stems. Alternatively, you can shred the broccoli with a mandoline or by hand with a sharp knife.
- Prepare the dressing in a liquid measuring cup: combine the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, vinegar, honey, garlic, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Whisk until emulsified. The dressing should be pleasantly tangy but not overwhelmingly acidic, so taste and add a little more honey to balance out the flavors if necessary.
- In a large serving bowl, combine the broccoli slaw, cooked quinoa and toasted almonds. Pour the dressing over the mixture, top with the chopped basil and toss until well mixed. Let the slaw rest for about 20 minutes to let the flavors mellow out a bit.
Make it nut free: I bet sunflower seeds would be a great alternative to the almonds.
Storage suggestions: This salad keeps well overnight. Brighten up leftovers with a squeeze of lemon juice and maybe an extra drizzle of olive oil and dash of salt, too.