‘Tis the season for New Years Resolutions. For many that means finding new recipes for food that will support their new, über-healthy diet. One of the biggest downfalls of a new diet is falling back into delicious old habits, which is so easy to do when everything new you’re eating tastes awful. That’s where this awesome broccoli salad comes in. It’s healthy, it’s delicious, and it’s easily made with ingredients that are in season in the dead of a Canadian winter.
The base of this tasty salad is broccoli. Did you know broccoli reached North America in 1806, but didn’t become popular until the 1920’s? Probably not, there’s really no reason to know that. Anyhow, broccoli is now a super popular veggie, and for good reason. It’s a member of the cabbage family, along with cabbage (dur), cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kale. Pretty much everything in the cabbage family is lauded as a super awesome thing to eat, so that’s good news. Broccoli also tastes nice, and looks like tiny trees, so you could say it has a lot going for it.
After the broccoli, there’s some carrots for colour & added sweetness. And then there’s the dressing. It’s a delicious, bright dressing, bringing in heart-healthy olive oil and just a hint of smokey goodness from some smoked sweet paprika. Lemon juice and a bit of honey brighten up the entire salad.
Lastly, Boursin garlic & herb cheese. It’s loaded with delicious garlicky flavour and it’s absolutely delicious. It adds tons of flavour to the final salad—please don’t leave it out.
The resulting salad is awesome over whole grain pasta or quinoa, or as a side salad as part of a larger meal. Yum!
Broccoli & Boursin Salad
3 heads of broccoli, rinsed & chopped into florets
2 carrots, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/3–½ cup olive oil
½ tsp smoked sweet paprika
½ tsp kosher salt
2 tsp honey or white sugar
2/3 cup crumbled Boursin garlic & herb cheese
Cooked whole grain pasta shapes, to serve (optional)
Other optional add-ins: diced avocado, toasted almond slices, dried cranberries
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the broccoli and carrots for 3–4 minutes, until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water to halt the cooking process.
While the veggies cook, whisk the lemon juice and mustard together. The mustard is the emulsifier here, so don’t leave it out. Then slowly start whisking in the olive oil, stopping when you are having a hard time incorporating any more olive oil into the emulsion. Whisk in the paprika, salt, and honey. Season to taste.
Toss the veggies with the dressing and the crumbled boursin. Serve over whole grain pasta if you like. This salad also makes a tasty side dish.
Yields five main dishes.