Summer has been a whirlwind, and I didn’t peel myself away from home improvement projects long enough to get in the routine of going to the farmers’ market every week. In fact, I think I’ve only been twice all season. And now I’m seeing leaves with a gentle blush of burnt orange; early apples that make you pucker and contort your face because they’re not quite ripe enough for out-of-hand enjoyment; and, my favourite of all, cooler temperatures. Fall is on our heels, and I’m ready for it. Almost.
Fall feels like what should be the “New Year,” full of possibilities and opportunities and far too many delicious things to cook than there are evenings to cook them during. For the autumnal early birds, I’m delivering this salad featuring the very first local fall apples, their tartness and Earth shattering crunch working beautifully here; rich, toasted walnuts; steamed, toothsome yet tender broccoli florets and diced raw broccoli stems; sweet-tart dried fruit; and fresh, water-packed cabbage. The dressing, a healthy mix of equal parts yogurt, oil and lemon juice marries the mix, creating a play on the Waldorf that’s fresh, not gloppy.
For those of us who have basically lived off of watermelon and feta and/or caprese (tomato, fresh mozzarella and basil) salad for the past month or so, I’m guessing you’d like something different to devour in September – I do, at least.
As we ease our ways into a more rhythmic, normalized schedule, consider make-ahead dishes, like this pastel toned salad, a new kind of staple. Though I love kale salads – their versatility, substance, robust flavour and stability – I, too, need to step outside of the familiar.
There are a lot of big changes happening in my life, including a massive move overseas from Canada, to London, England with my boyfriend. I’m excited, scared, nervous and out of my rhythm. It’s perfect but entirely unfamiliar. Sorry to drop such big news so casually, but I’m finding there’s no easy way to tell folks you’re leaving, even when the destination, your new home, is one of the greatest cities in the entire world!
Stepping outside of my comfort zone, I’ll keep things (well, me) sane with well-acquainted flavours, warming soups and stews, simple breakfasts, hot coffee (so much coffee) and many humble salads. I’m craving unwavering, nourishing comfort food cuisine, and this fall salad recipe fits the bill nicely.
Waldorf Broccoli Salad with Apples, Cabbage, Walnuts & Yogurt Dressing
Classic waldorf flavours of apple, toasted walnuts and dried fruit come to life when combined with crunchy cabbage, steamed broccoli florets and diced, crunchy broccoli stems in place of the traditional celery. Instead of mayonnaise, yogurt, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice and honey make this lighter, brighter and healthier. This slaw meets salad is the ultimate early-fall side dish.
1 cup walnut halves
1 head broccoli
3 to 4 cups finely shredded green cabbage (about 1/4 to 1/8 of a medium cabbage)
1 crisp red apple, cored and diced
¼ cup finely chopped dried cranberries or raisins
3 Tbsp minced chives or scallion (green onion)
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup whole milk Greek yogurt (I used 5%)
¼ clove garlic, grated
1 tsp honey
¼ tsp salt, more to taste
ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 300ºF. Spread walnuts on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast until fragrant and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool slightly and roughly chop and add to a large bowl. Reserve.
- Cut broccoli florets off of stems. Reserve stems. Cut florets into bite-sized pieces and steam or blanch until tender, about 5 minutes. Refresh florets with cold water and drain very, very well; add to large bowl with walnuts. Peel broccoli stalks and cut off tough bottoms; finely dice and add to a large bowl along with walnuts, steamed florets and cabbage.
- To walnut and broccoli mixture, mix to combine apple, cranberries or raisins and chives or scallion. Reserve.
- In a small bowl, whisk to combine oil, lemon juice, yogurt, garlic, honey, salt and pepper. Toss with walnut and broccoli mixture until fully combined. Taste and season with additional salt, if desired. If not serving immediately, cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days; toss well before serving. Serve.