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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Broccoli Salad with Feta, Olive-Oil-Fried Almonds and Currants

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...We had lovely grilled lamb  for dinner last evening. The chops were double-cut and absolutely delicious, but the best part of the meal was the side dishes I made to accompany them. As more of our cooking moves to the grill, I enjoy the extra time it creates in the kitchen and like to use some of it to experiment with recipes that have caught my eye. This salad is a perfect example of a dish that I've been waiting to try. The recipe was developed for fine Cooking magazine and it debuted in my kitchen last night to rounds of applause from taste testers. The salad is reasonably easy to make and the play of ingredients make it an interesting and flavorful starter for meals that will star plain grilled meats. It is a great recipe and there is not much I would do to change it. I did, however, think it would benefit from some additional sweetness. The next time I make this, I plan to substitute 1/4 cup of raisins for the currants and add a pinch of sugar to the salad dressing. They are minor changes and I have not included them in them recipe that appears below. I know that broccoli is not a universally popular vegetable, but I hope those of you who shy away from it will try it in dishes like this. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. I know I was. Here's the recipe.

Broccoli Salad with Feta, Olive-Oil-Fried Almonds and Currants...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Fine Cooking

1 pound broccoli florets, cut into quarter-size pieces
1-1/2 tablespoons dried currants
1 medium clove garlic
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
Pinch cayenne
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided use
1/2 cup blanched, slivered almonds
3 ounces feta, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

1) Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil over high heat.Boil  florets  until they’re tender (pierce with a paring knife or taste a piece) but still offer a bit of resistance, about 3 minutes. Drain broccoli, spread on a baking sheet in an even layer, and set aside to cool—it will continue to cook as it cools.
2) Put currants in a small bowl, add enough hot water to cover, and let sit until softened, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, using a mortar and pestle or flat side of a chef’s knife, mash garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt. Transfer garlic to a small bowl and add vinegar and cayenne. Let sit for about 10 minutes.
3) Warm 1 tablespoon of  oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add slivered almonds and fry, stirring frequently, until golden brown,  about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and season with salt.
4) Drain currants. Whisk remaining 4 tablespoons oil into vinegar mixture. Just before serving, combine broccoli, currants, feta, and half of almonds in a large bowl. Drizzle with vinaigrette and toss gently to combine. Taste and season with a pinch more salt if necessary. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with remaining almonds and the cilantro, if using. The salad is best served at room temperature. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

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From the Kitchen said...

What do I think of this recipe? It has just become my first "pin" to Pinterest.

Have a wonderful and delicious Mother's Day Mary.


Ginny said...

This has to be the healthiest recipe ever! We love broccoli.

laurie said...

what a great combo!

David said...

Mary, Another great way to encourage my better half to eat her greens! Thanks for the recipe. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Gerlinde in Dallas said...

I love broccoli salad and yours looks like a delicious variation to try out!

Cuisine de Provence said...

I am sure this tastes wonderful - but I just cannot stomach broccoli....

Shawn @ I Wash...You Dry said...

I love a good broccoli side! And you're right, grilling does free up time in the kitchen for more elaborate side dishes! Yum!

Dining Alone said...

I love broccoli salad, but the version I know has mayo and is not very healthy, this is a great alternative.

Pondside said...

I love broccoli and am always interested in another way to serve it. I have a giant Costco-sized bag of florets in the fridge, so I'll try this tonight. All I need is some feta. I think I'll use dried cranberries. Thanks, Mary!

Annie said...

Mary this salad is very nutritious and tasty, I like it.
With all my love I wish you a very beautiful Mother's Day.

Federica Simoni said...

è davvero da acquolina questo piatto!baci!

Rita said...

Love to find another new way to serve broccoli salad. Happy Mother;s Day!

Libby@CookingWithLibby said...

We love broccoli around here! What an awesome dish to make :) Thanks for sharing :)

gobakeyourself said...

This is such a healthy recipe but with such a great range of textures and flavours :D
Thank you for sharing my friend and wishing you a happy mothers day!

Choc Chip Uru

mia xara said...

Hi Mary,love your salad and all the trimmings,I'm sure it's really flavorful!!!Happy Mother's Day!:)

The Café Sucré Farine said...

Such an unusual but delicious combination - I love it!

Jen @ The scrumptious Pumpkin said...

Alright, now this dish has got to get anyone to eat their broccoli! Sounds so mouthwatering with the feta and almonds :)

Buttercup said...

Mary, this looks so good. Wishes for a wonderful Mother's Day!

Jay said...

irresistable n so tempting..very well done
Tasty Appetite

Elin said...

Happy Mother's Day to you Mary and have a blessed one with the family :)

Sarah @ Homestyle Cooking Around The World said...

looks lovely and is very tasty- will have to try this soon. Happy Mother's Day!

What's Baking?? said...

Fresh green broccolis! Lovely. Happy Mother's Day, Mary! God Bless!

Becki's Whole Life said...

Happy Mother's Day, Mary! This sounds wonderful - broccoli is my favorite vegetable and this salad sounds great.

Joanne said...

I love that this recipe calls for cooking the broccoli! So many don't and I just don't really like it raw.

A Seasonal Cook in Turkey said...

I just don't understand what there is not to like in broccoli! ıt is so inoffensive - personally I think I like just about everything! As usual, a lovely recipe, Mary! Thanks.

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