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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Creamy broccoli and apple slaw and broccoli and blue cheese salad

This week is "Broccoli Ten Ways in Five Days" where I am trying out all 10 recipe suggestions Real Simple Magazine highlighted for broccoli in their September 2011 issue. Today is day three. You can browse day one and two if you'd like.

Today I have two salads for you, and once again they are very different. One is made with steamed broccoli and topped with a creamy blue cheese dressing; the other is a raw broccoli slaw, that has a bit of tang to it. I loved them both, but I came to the realization that I am a slaw lover. I like the way it is chopped fine, which makes for easy eating. I also love that the dressing is evenly distributed, and it keeps well. That makes it super convenient to make ahead. I never miss lunch when I have some slaw in the fridge. I can just pull it out and it is ready to eat... so even if I only have 2 minutes for lunch (which seems all too often) I still have a decent lunch, filled with fresh veggies.

Creamy Broccoli and Apple Slaw

This was just divine. I didn't change anything from the recipe, and when I make it again, I won't change anything then, either.

In a large bowl, mix together 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon cider vinegar, and 1 chopped small shallot; season with salt and pepper. Add 1/2 bunch finely chopped broccoli (3 cups), 1/2 finely chopped apple, 1/4 cup dried cranberries, and 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts and toss to combine.

Broccoli and Blue Cheese Salad

I was SO looking forward to trying this one because, well, blue cheese. Yum. I did love it, but I think if I were to make it again, I wouldn't steam the broccoli. I would leave it raw and chop it more finely. The steamed broccoli just tends to leak water forever, and that kind of ruins the look of it all. I don't like broccoli water swirling with creamy dressing. Call me crazy. The flavor was excellent, though! That dressing is going on a lot of salads around here, I can assure you.

Steam 1 bunch broccoli (cut into florets, 6 cups) until tender, 5 to 7 minutes; rinse with cold water to cool. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup buttermilk, 2 tablespoons sour cream, 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese, 1 sliced scallion, and 1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Top the broccoli with the buttermilk dressing and 1/2 cup toasted walnuts.