This salad morphed from adding a few bits of chopped broccoli to my spinach side salad, into it’s own heroic right as a great side dish, but also a satisfying main-course salad. I’ve served this at a few parties and have had many wives come tell me that they’ve never seen their husbands eat salad…much less go back for seconds. That should tell you something!! ;-)
And since broccoli is almost always in the top 5 of any ‘healthy food lists’, this is a crave-worthy way to get it in you! We eat this at least once a week in our house!!
PREP TIME: 20 min
SERVES: 2 as a main, 4 as a side
FOR THE SALAD
1 head broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces (roughly 11 oz/ 315 g)
1/8 cup (roughly 20 g) onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup sundried tomatoes, finely chopped
¼ cup (25 g) grated parmesan cheese
4 Tbsp (30 g) toasted pumpkin seeds
1 cup, loosely packed (40 g) chopped spinach leaves (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
FOR THE DRESSING
¾ cup (180 ml) My Favorite Balsamic Dressing*
- - - or - - -
Simple Balsamic Dressing
½ cup (120 ml) olive oil
2 Tbsp (30 ml) balsamic vinegar
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dijon mustard
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp garlic powder
I always make a double batch of this as it keeps well for a few weeks in the refrigerator.
Broccoli, red onion, toasted pumpkin seeds and parmesan cheese.
Broccoli, red onion, toasted pumpkin seeds, parmesan cheese, My Favorite Balsamic Dressing
MAKE YOUR SALAD
1) Mix onion, broccoli and sundried tomatoes with either ¾ cup (180 ml) of My Favorite Balsamic Dressing* or the above Simple Balsamic Dressing recipe, and let sit for 10 minutes to soften.
2) Add the spinach and mix will to ensure the spinach leaves are well coated, and top up with a bit more dressing (to your taste) if desired.
3) Add the pumpkin seeds and cheese and mix well.
Season with salt and pepper as desired and transfer to a large serving bowl, or spoon into individual serving bowls.
If you don’t have My Favorite Balsamic Dressing on hand, nor time to make it, just whip up a quick batch of a simple balsamic – simple meaning you don’t need a blender or fresh herbs at hand. It might not have that depth of flavor of the other dressing, but I will still be yummy!
It’s important to let the broccoli and onion soften in the dressing for a bit as broccoli needs time to absorb the dressing (where as spinach takes 2 seconds) and this also takes the bite out of the raw onion, and the chalkiness out of the raw broccoli while retaining all it’s nutrients (i.e. don’t need to cook it).
You don’t have to be overly exact on the salad ingredients. When I eat this as a main course I add a bit more seeds and parmesan for that extra protein boost and feeling of ‘richness’.
People have different levels of salt tastes (as well as health requirements) so while I always season the broccoli and onion with a pinch of salt after I toss them with the dressing – this might not be for everyone, so just experiment with what works for your taste buds!