As of last week, my second cookbook manuscript, Purely Pumpkin, is off to my publisher. And it’s now less than 2 months before my first cookbook, Whole Bowls, is released (April 5, 2016–in case I haven’t told you a few times already). Just let that sit for a moment.
You good? Okay, let’s continue.
This means it’s time to revisit the cookbooks I’ve neglected over the past several months. They’re piling up, untouched, collecting dust with their torn pink post-its losing all adherence. So much melodrama.
I’ve been eyeing the broccoli salad (or broccoli slaw) from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman for a while now. I have, in fact, made Perelman’s recipe (you can find that here), which manages to encompass sweet, savoury, crispy, creamy, fresh, and addictive all in one bowl, but I wanted a winter-appropriate version. I took inspiration from her perfect, summertime broccoli salad recipe, channelled a bit of Ottolenghi, and came up with this combination.
Serve this broccoli salad warm or cold, as a main or on the side, or enjoy while hanging out with the refrigerator door open. It’s satisfying, savoury, sweet, crunchy, charred, tender, creamy, briny, crisp, and addictive–all welcome, maybe even necessary notes in a really good winter vegetable dish. Plus, there’s a bit of a food hack built right in for those of you who, like me, have a tendency to burn pine nuts on the stovetop; I’ve roasted the pine nuts along with the broccoli, allowing them to evenly brown all the way through without a scorch mark or additional dirty pan in sight. I’ve been fussy and cubed the feta which looks a bit tidier, but do the usual feta crumble if you fancy. (Saying this, I couldn’t get enough of the texture of those meaty, salty cheese cubes.) Finally, raisins add sweetness and swell while absorbing the dressing’s sour edge; you could use dried cranberries, sliced dates or apricots, or currants in place of the raisins.
I devoured the verdant mix with a quick chana masala (with requisite yogurt) and quinoa for Friday night dinner. Though I love the idea of topping hummus with the works and serving it with stacks of warm, doughy pita. Next time.
For the coming months, I’ll be enjoying my many cookbooks again, absorbing a little culinary inspiration, and taking in the very last of the winter salads–starting with today’s–before springtime produce pops its head up in another month or so. I can’t think of a prettier, tastier winter edibles bookend.
- 1 head (bunch) broccoli, florets only, very finely chopped (reserve the stalks for this recipe!)
- ½ cup raw pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon refined avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano (not ground)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 ounces feta, cut into small cubes or crumbled
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ to 1 clove garlic, minced
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 425ºF.
- For the salad, on a large rimmed baking sheet, toss broccoli, pine nuts, avocado oil or olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Spread into an even layer and roast for 15 minutes, until broccoli and pine nuts are beginning to brown. Add to a large bowl and cool for 10 minutes. Add feta and raisins.
- For the dressing, in a small bowl, combine vinegar, olive oil, garlic, and nutmeg. Add to broccoli mixture and toss to combine. Serve immediately or cover and chill for up to 2 days.