Although hearty cold salads are a staple at summer picnics and outdoor gatherings, you shouldn’t wait that long to try this broccoli salad slathered with a creamy tangy kick-ass tahini honey dressing that has, what some may call, the boring broccoli, doing cartwheels. And just look at those bright colors – hello happy school or work lunches!
Not just for lunches. Stuff a leftover roasted sweet potato with heaps of broccoli salad for a filling dinner in minutes. This is not your ordinary mayo-based salad. I find many mayo-based salads taste heavy and bland with a need for high amounts of salt — not really contributing anything to the vegetables. But then add a few other ingredients like tahini, honey, and sherry vinegar to the boring broccoli and your finicky eater (s) will dig right in. For those who love some texture in their salads, like I do, the dried cherries and pumpkin seeds bring interest to the salad without the need for a long list of ingredients. I keep the salad light on the dressing and serve extra on the side for those who want a little extra love, but feel free to slather on as much or as little as you like – no rules apply. I wish I could douse my vegetables in heaps of dressing but my jeans and I don’t always agree on things. In any event, this salad welcomes variations to make it your own and keeps well, refrigerated, when made a couple of days in advance.
- 6 cups (about 32 ounces) broccoli florets
- 3 carrots grated or 1 cup pre-grated
- ½ medium red onion, diced
- ⅓ cup pumpkin seeds
- ⅓ cup dried unsweetened tart cherries
- 1 cup mayonnaise (I use Just Mayo for egg-free or Primal Kitchen)
- ½ cup tahini
- 2-3 tablespoons raw honey (I use neem or manuka)
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- few pinches of kosher salt and crushed black pepper, to taste
- Steam broccoli florets for 3 minutes to soften. Meanwhile, soften dried cherries (or other dried fruit) in a small bowl filled with very hot water until softened, when softened, drain and pat dry. Once steamed, let broccoli cool then transfer to a large bowl with enough room for mixing. Add carrots, diced onion, pumpkin seeds, and drained tart cherries. In a jar or measuring cup, combine the remaining ingredients and mix well then transfer to broccoli bowl. Stir to combine well. Serve room temperature or chilled. Will remain fresh refrigerated up to 4 days. I do not recommend this salad to be frozen, the broccoli texture is not appetizing and it gets mushy.
- Alternatively: try sunflower seeds instead of pumpkin seeds or dried blueberries or cranberries instead of tart cherries. Some other tasty additions, if tolerated: toasted cashews or pecans, grapes, dried dates or figs.
- For vegans: maple syrup, coconut nectar or agave nectar are good alternatives to sub honey. Just Mayo is a gluten free, vegan mayonnaise but not Paleo.
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Michelle Rodriguez says