Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Broccoli Salad

This broccoli salad has bacon bits, pistachios and a tomato balsamic dressing. It is perfect served warm and is a great hearty side dish or you can add some salmon or chicken to make it a whole meal.

You will need:

  • 1 head of broccoli- cut into bite sized pieces and stalk cut into sticks
  • 2 slices of bacon- chopped fine and cooked crispy
  • 1/4 of an onion = 1/3 cup - chopped fine
  • 1/2 tomato (the other half is used in the dressing!)
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • 2 tbsp chopped pistachios or almonds
  • 1/2 garlic clove- crushed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tomato grated -skin discarded
  • 1 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
optional - grilled chicken breast or grilled salmon

Step 1: chop broccoli into small bite sized pieces. You want them to fit easily onto a fork and into your mouth so make them small enough.  If you wish to use the stalk peel and remove the outside layer and chop into thin sticks. Place the stalks on the bottom of steamer so they are closer to the heat. You can either steam or quickly boil in water. Bring the water to a boil and steam 3-4 minutes until cooked but still crunchy. Chop half of tomato into small dice and set aside.

Step 2: chop and fry 2 slices of bacon until crispy. I always keep mine in wax paper in slices of 2 in the freezer. Then when you need some for flavour it is perfectly separated and I just cook from frozen. 

Step 3: once bacon is cooked drain on paper towel and cook the onion with just the residual fat that remains in the pan. Cook until starting to brown around edges 4-5 minutes. Set aside.

Step 4: grate the other half of the tomato leaving the skin. You will grate the inside and pulp right up to the skin. Discard the skin and keep the tomato pulp and liquid for your dressing.

Step 5: make the dressing in a small jar with a lid for shaking. Crush the perfect amount of garlic by taking a whole clove of garlic with the skin on and squeezing it through a garlic press and only use the garlic that is pressed out. Throw away the skin and any garlic remaining in the press. I think this works out pretty close to a half a clove. If you want a stronger garlic flavour peel the whole clove first and crush and use the entire clove. Add tomato pulp, olive oil, cider vinegar, aged balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Shake to emulsify.

Step 6: in a large bowl add broccoli, chopped tomato, bacon bits, onions, chili flakes and pistachios. 

Step 7: add dressing and toss to combine. Serve warm with some additional nuts sprinkled on top 

or add some additional grilled chicken or salmon. I think it makes a perfect lunch.

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