Who knew a Broccoli Crunch Salad could be so intriguing?! This recipe came together as a result of ingredients I had in the fridge and pantry.
WHAT IS BROCCOLI CRUNCH SALAD?
Broccoli Crunch Salad is whatever you make it to be! Essentially, it's a broccoli salad with added crunch. I've added the "crunch" in two forms, walnuts & pine nuts. I implore you to be creative with your crunchy additions!
WHAT YOU'LL NEED TO MAKE THIS SALAD
Lots of love!!!
and a couple ingredients as well!
Regarding the vegetables, you'll need
- Broccoli florets
- Yellow pepper
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Toasted pine nuts
- Toasted walnuts
- Red onion
- Olive oil
For the dressing you'll need:
- Olive oil
- Apple cider vinegar
- Dijon mustard
- Salt & Pepper
- Fresh garlic
HOW TO MAKE BROCCOLI CRUNCH SALAD
Begin with blanching the broccoli. I like to cook the broccoli in boiling water for only 2 minutes, then use a slotted spoon and shock the broccoli in a bowl of ice water. This will slightly cook the broccoli and enhance the bright green color.
Next, pan-sear the mushrooms. I like to use shiitake mushrooms because they have such a distinct texture and cook really nicely. If you don't have shiitake mushrooms, use any mushrooms you have on hand!
Toast the pine nuts in the leftover oil from cooking the mushrooms.
Make the dressing! Simply combine the ingredients in a bowl or container and whisk or shake until combined. I highly recommend using the fresh garlic in the recipe!
Assemble the salad. Add all the veggies, nuts & dressing to a large bowl and toss until veggies are well coated in dressing. Ready to serve!
COMMON QUESTIONS FOR THIS RECIPE
Can I substitute the walnuts and pine nuts with a different nuts? Absolutely! This is a CRUNCH salad, so feel free to substitute your favorite crunch nut. You can even consider adding terra chips to add a unique crunch.
Do I need to blanch the broccoli? I highly recommend blanching the broccoli for optimal crisp, yet cooked texture/flavor & for the brightened color. If you're really in a pinch, this salad will work well with raw broccoli - but I still prefer it cooked, personally.
Can I swap in a different vegetable in place of yellow peppers? Yes!! I made this salad with ingredients I saw in my fridge, so the same should apply to you. Feel free to swap in a red pepper, raw zucchini, or other delicious veggie add-in.
Recipes You'll Love!
- Gluten Free Pasta Salad
- No Mayo Potato Salad
- Hearts of Palm Quinoa Salad with Lime Vinaigrette
- Kabocha Squash Salad with Chicken & Parsley Lime Dressing
Broccoli Crunch Salad
For the Salad
- 2 Broccoli heads cut into small florets
- 1 yellow pepper diced
- 8 ounces sliced shiitake mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- ¾ cup toasted walnuts
- ¾ cup diced red onion about 1 small onion or ½ large onion
- 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
For the Dressing
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (for later). Also, begin with bringing a medium pot filled with at least 5 inches of water to a boil, on the stove.
- Once the water boils, carefully add the chopped broccoli florets and cook 2 minutes.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the broccoli to a large bowl filled with ice water. Allow to chill in the ice water for 1-2 minutes, before transferring broccoli to a paper towel to dry.
- Once broccoli is no longer wet, transfer to a large bowl and set aside for later use.
- Meanwhile, add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a frying pan and turn the heat to medium. Add ⅓ of the sliced mushrooms and arrange in an even layer. Cook 2 minutes before flipping each mushroom or simply mixing and cooking another 2 minutes until golden on both sides. Transfer cooked mushrooms to a plate and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
- Repeat the mushroom cooking process with the remaining 2 batches of mushrooms, so that each batch can cook in an even layer. Add more oil between each batch if needed.
- Once mushrooms are cooked use the same frying pan to toast the pine nuts over a medium-low heat, about 2 minutes. Remove from the pan immediately once golden so that they don’t burn.
- Set aside mushrooms and pine nuts to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, toast the walnuts in the oven for 5 minutes until fragrant. Once cooked + cooled, chop into medium pieces.
- Make the dressing by whisking together all the dressing ingredients in a medium bowl. Alternatively, use a blender to prepare the dressing.
- Combine the blanched broccoli, pan-seared mushrooms, pine nuts, chopped walnuts, yellow pepper & red onion to a large bowl. Mix together.
- Pour all the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss until combined.