My friend (who doesn’t cook) took one look at this broccoli salad and accused me of buying it from Costco. Yes, I know the salad she’s referring to and, yes, my family has eaten it from time to time; however, this one was made from scratch and although it took a little more time and effort than simply cracking open Jen’s proverbial bubble and tossing and going, it was better than the big-box store-bought version and I can vouch that I didn’t cheat. The original recipe called for 1/3 cup of mayo in the dressing but that amount brought back bad memories of mayo-heavy, eggy, cloying potato salads from my childhood so I reduced it to a tablespoon and the buttermilk added the rest of the creamy flavour. Only Austin and I were around to eat it for dinner but both of us gave it the thumbs-up, and liked the raw crunchiness of the broccoli.
For the curried quinoa salad, I loved the addition of mango to lighten the flavours and add some summer freshness, but Austin figured the two flavours are better kept apart. Apparently, fruit is fruit and salad is salad and never the twain shall meet. So says my enthusiastic 14-year-old critic. But we both agreed that the curry flavour perked up the quinoa and I’m hoping he’s as enthusiastic as I am about the possibility of these salads serving as leftover lunch options for Friday. In fact, that’s probably been the biggest perk of Salad Month for me—having lunch ready-made for the next day. Another advantage has been that most of these salads can be made earlier in the day and then left to marinate for a few hours and absorb the flavours. Which comes in handy when you’re trying to shellac mascara and eyeshadow ("the more the better, Mom") on a 10-year-old’s face for her dance recital right at busy dinnertime.
makes about six cups
For the salad
6 cups of broccoli florets
1 cup whole almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
½ cup raisins
½ medium red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
Whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl.
Cut the larger broccoli florets into bite-sized pieces. You can also chop up some or all of the stems, and add them to the bowl. Toss the broccoli with the almonds, raisins, and finely chopped red onion. Pour the dressing over the salad, and toss well. Season with salt and paper to taste.
Curried Quinoa Salad with Mango
serves 4 to 6
1 cup quinoa
1 to 2 ripe mangoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 red or yellow pepper, chopped
1/4 English cucumber, chopped
2-3 green onions or a chunk of purple onion, chopped
2 cups (packed) baby spinach, torn or sliced (optional)
handful of torn cilantro (optional)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2-4 tbsp. white wine or white balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. mango chutney, chopped if chunky (optional)
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. curry powder or mild paste
1/4 tsp. cumin
Rinse quinoa well under cool water in a fine sieve, then cook in a pot of boiling salted water over medium heat until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. (Just like you’d cook pasta.) Drain well, return to the pot, put the lid back on and let it steam – this will produce fluffy quinoa – until cooled.
Combine the oil, vinegar, chutney, honey, curry and cumin in a jar or small bowl and shake or whisk to blend. If you like, season the dressing with salt and pepper.
Put the quinoa, mango, vegetables and beans in a large bowl, drizzle with dressing and toss until well coated.
Rest of the week
May 10 Chicken and tossed salad
May 11 This and that… everybody fending for themselves
May 12 Broccoli salad, curried quinoa salad and trout