Broccoli Salad w/ Honeyed Whole Grain Mustard Dressing
Do you know that broccoli salad that always makes it’s way to holiday dinners and family get-togethers? I think it is from Costco or those local bulk buy stores and usually makes enough to feed close to ten people. Growing up, I would always love it when someone brought the broccoli salad to a family festivity. I loved the creamy dressing and figured that since it was mostly broccoli, I could load half my plate with this salad. Not until I was older, and learned how to read food labels, was I shocked to find out that while I thought I was choosing the “healthy” option at dinner, I was really choosing to pack my plate with one of the most unhealthy sides. That store-bought broccoli salad was soaked in a mayonnaise sugar dressing and was mixed with tons of bacon and thick chunks of cheddar cheese. All of that tasted pretty good, don’t get me wrong, but when you are looking for a broccoli salad to make for a normal work week lunch this was not the one to choose. I needed something that tastes just as great yet is more densely filled with wholesome ingredients and nutritive compounds.
I kept most of the classic ingredients for the new adaptation; broccoli, red onion, dried cranberries, and sunflower seeds. I gave the bacon and cheddar cheese the boot and instead filled it with an incredible vegetarian protein; organic garbanzo beans, otherwise known as chickpeas. Chickpeas are brimming with protein, fiber, iron, folate, and manganese. I changed the dressing a honeyed whole grain mustard vinaigrette that isn’t creamy but still gives the salad a bit of sweetness that it demands. This new version is so delicious and doesn’t make me miss the old stuff at all….Good riddance! Welcome to the new broccoli salad of the future…the one I will now and forever feed my family and friends during the holidays or at a lazy picnic lunch.
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 TBSP honey (or maple syrup/agave nectar if vegan)
- 2 TBSP whole grain mustard
- 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 3 heads of organic broccoli
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1 15 oz can of organic garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup toasted (unsalted) sunflower seeds
- In a small bowl whisk all the salad dressing ingredients together for about a minute until it emulsifies and set aside.
- Blanch the broccoli. Blanching helps to keep the broccoli looking bright green while taking the raw bite out of the salad. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. In a large bowl, make an ice bath (water and ice). Dip the heads of the broccoli into the boiling water for 1 minute and then put them straight into the ice bath. Let cool and then pat the broccoli dry.
- Chop all the stems off the broccoli and cut into tiny florets and add to a large bowl. Add the chopped red onion, the shredded carrots, garbanzo beans, dried cranberries, and sunflower seeds. Pour the dressing all over the salad and toss to coat using tongs or a large spoon (the dressing likes to sink to the bottom of the bowl, so be sure to toss for a few minutes to get the dressing in the florets). I like to let the salad sit in the fridge for about an hour to get cool before serving in an air-tight container. Can be stored in the fridge for up to 3-4 days* (see note).
- This salad serves 6-8 people as a side and about 4 people as a main course. It can be made as much as a day ahead of time if you are preparing for a party or gathering.