Bring It is back! No need to drag you all through a long preamble, but the short story is this: For the first time since New Year’s mama’s got a kitchen again… just in time for eating in place! OK, it’s alllllmost a full kitchen, but it involves running water, a fridge and a dishwasher, so we’re good to go.
I’m going to be serving up recipes with an eye towards feeding all those bonus people —less than 10 but more than two—who may be back in your house. If you don’t have a full house, you may be cooking for someone who doesn’t feel safe getting out to the grocery store or to pick up takeout from the local restaurants. Whatever your jam, chances are it involves more cooking and more time at home.
This is a funky time for sure, and because you may not know what’s available in the grocery store even if you can get there, we’re doubling down on our Bring It ingredients credo, which is: “Love the one you’re with.” As in, modify and substitute as needed, with conviction. Also, because you may find your self needing to provide actual breakfast vs leftovers or cereal, I highly suggest revisiting these overnight sensation muffins and popovers. Minimal evening effort + pantry staples = happy morning tribe.
So, on to today’s recipe that I’ve made countless times since discovering it. It came from my quest for a healthier version of that guiltiest of picnic pleasures—the sweet and creamy bacon broccoli salad. This transcends age, gender and most dietary restrictions. It is a hit with pretty much everyone who eats vegetables. As with most salads, it’s all about the dressing, which features tahini and maple syrup. So, it’s not low fat or low sugar, but you can dial the sweetness (and the amount of dressing you use of course) up or down…or live a little and enjoy it as written.
This is how I make it, but feel free to riff on the options. There’s no wrong answer here. You’re eating raw broccoli fergawdsakes, protecting yourself from the inside out. Go you!
I hope you all stay healthy and happy and are eating well in place.
Way Bettah Broccoli Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing
For the salad:
- 2 medium heads (3/4–1 lb) broccoli
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds (or toasted sunflower seeds)
- 1/3 cup raisins or dried cranberries
- 1–2 shallots, thinly-sliced (or red onion in a pinch)
- 1–2 tsp white sesame seeds (not a dealbreaker. This slacker has never used them)
- optional: 1/4 cup feta or ricotta salata cheese (same as above)
For the dressing:
- 3 Tbsp tahini
- 3–4 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 2 Tbsp honey or maple syrup
- 1 tsp fresh garlic, finely-minced
- kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
Uh…WASH YOUR HANDS (as if we’d forget, but still)
Make the dressing:
- In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, 3 Tbsp olive oil, lemon juice, and honey until combined. Add up to another tablespoon of oil to thin as desired. Stir in the garlic, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Or, if saving for later, transfer to an air-tight jar. May be made in advance and kept refrigerated for up to two weeks.
Assemble the salad:
- Chop the broccoli into small bite-sized florets. Pro tip: See here how to butcher your broccoli. Basically, hold it by the stem and shave the broccoli tips with a sharp knife, like you’re giving it an all over hair cut. Save the stems for broccoli stem pesto, or soup or whatever moves you.
- Toss together the broccoli, shallots, and raisins or cranberries with the dressing. Refrigerate for about an hour. Just before serving, add the almonds, sesame seeds, and feta, if using. Serve chilled.