broccoli salad

lunchbox life: roasted broccoli salad


Happy last 2013-14 lunchbox life!  This section of the blog will be on hiatus until July (yes, we start school in late July), but this week’s lunch is so exciting that you could make it anytime, with or without a lunchbox.

Many of us have had broccoli salad before.  It’s usually mayonnaise-based with raw broccoli, golden raisins, chopped apples, and maybe some almonds.  It’s a great summer side dish for barbecue gatherings and cookouts.  A few weeks ago, I was at Fette Sau in Philadelphia, a much-cooler-than-me BBQ place in a hipster area of town, and I ordered broccoli salad as one of my sides, mostly out of curiosity.  I was so surprised with what they handed me as I went down the cafeteria-style line: this bowl of large pieces of cooled, roasted broccoli with a vinaigrette sauce.  What a great way to switch up the old stand by!  If you’ve ever roasted broccoli, you know that it completely changes the texture and taste of the cruciferous vegetable–the crunch remains, but it muted, and the taste is mellowed, yet deep.  Ever since my inspiration at Fette Sau, I’ve wanted to try my hand at an inspired dish.  Since I’m using the idea as a main dish, I’ve added a few ingredients to kick it up a notch: equal parts broccoli and cauliflower for color contrast, crispy bacon, soft goat cheese, tart dried cherries, crunchy cashews, and bright lemon zest.  I dressed the salad with my usual honey dijon vinaigrette and placed it on a bed of greens for volume.

Roasted Broccoli Salad

1 crown of broccoli

1 crown of cauliflower

1 Tbsp. olive oil

salt and pepper

5 slices of bacon

4 oz. soft goat cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup dried cherries

1/2 cup cashews, chopped

zest of two lemons

5 cups of salad greens

For the dressing:

1.5 Tbsp. olive oil

juice of two lemons

1 Tbsp. dijon mustard

1 tsp. honey

salt and pepper

Heat the oven to 400 F.  Give the broccoli and cauliflower a rough chop–you want the pieces to be between about 2 to 3 inches in length.  Place the broccoli and cauliflower in a mixing bowl and add 1 Tbsp. olive oil and salt and pepper to taste (1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. black pepper is what I used), then mix to coat.  Spread the broccoli and cauliflower and an even layer on a cookie sheet, then roast for 15 minutes.  At the 15 minute mark, take the vegetables out and flip them over, then roast for another 15 minutes.  When the 30 minutes are up, place the roasted vegetables in a mixing bowl and set aside to cool to room temperature.  While the veggies are roasting, fry the pieces of bacon in a large frying pan to a crisp, then remove the bacon and place on a paper towel and let cool to room temperature.  When these items are cool enough, crumble the bacon over the broccoli and cauliflower, then add the goat cheese, dried cherries, and cashews.  Toss to combine.   In a small jar, combine the dressing ingredients, place the cap on tightly, shake to combine, then pour over the salad and toss to combine.  Serve the broccoli salad as a stand alone dish or on a bed of greens.

WW info: 9 PP per serving (5 servings in this recipe)