Broccoli Salad with Ginger Vinaigrette

This is one of my favorite preparations of this super healthy vegetable. The ginger-infused dressing lends a slight Asian touch to the dish, but I don’t take it too far into the Asian world. I think one of the ultimate keys in making this dish taste good is boiling the broccoli just long enough to soften, without turning to much. I don’t mix the broccoli with the dressing right away because the acid will compromise the beautiful green color of the broccoli and turn it slightly greyish. Instead, wait just until you are ready to serve the dish and apply the dressing either with a spoon or toss everything lightly in a bowl.

I use broccolini (when I can find it) instead of regular broccoli for this recipe, because the entire vegetable is edible from the slender, asparagus-like stalks to the tiny florets. It’s both crunchy and tender, with a characteristic slight bitterness which matches nicely with the vinaigrette. Using regular broccoli is perfectly fine, though, as is young broccoli raab.

Yield:  about 4-6 servings

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon tamari or lite soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • sea salt and freshly milled black pepper to season
  • 1 large head broccoli, florets separated and stalks peeled and sliced
  • Working with a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, ginger, tamari, maple syrup and seasoning. Make sure to whisk aggressively so the dressing emulsifies.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of salt to the water once it has boiled. Add the broccoli stems first, then add the florets after a minute or so.
  • Cook for a few minutes until the broccoli has softened, but still maintains a bite (check this by cutting into the stem and seeing the white dot).
  • Remove the broccoli and drain well.
  • Toss the cooked broccoli with the ginger vinaigrette just before you are ready to serve, check the seasoning and serve warm or cold.

Jack’s Fresh Tip

It is entirely possible to leave the oil out of this recipe if you are preferring to eat oil-free. I add a bit to the dressing to balance the flavors, but you can also add a 1 or 2 tablespoons of a nut butter – say peanut or almond! Cooking the broccoli in boiling water is a timing issue. I can’t say how long it will take because that will depend on how big you left the florets. I usually begin to check them after 2 minutes. Remember, they will continue to cook a bit once you removed them from the water. You can instantly stop the cooking process by adding the broccoli to ice water. Once they are cool, drain them well and wait until you are ready to serve the dish before adding the dressing.

Techniques used

This is a Sample Recipe

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