Sweet and Spicy Broccoli and Pea Salad

Not quite Mom’s Broccoli Salad, this one’s a little sweet, a little sour, a little spicy, and a lot flavorful!

My mom used to make a broccoli salad in the summer that included a mayonnaise dressing, lots of bacon, apple, walnuts, and purple onions. Everyone loved it, but I thought it might be nice to make a similar salad swapping out the bacon with nuts, and switching up some of the other ingredients as well.

Let’s use a different nut!

I recently found some creamy, delicious Marcona almonds at the co-op. They are rounder and fatter than regular almonds, creamier in texture, sweeter, and almost buttery in taste. But they still have a lovely crunch. I won’t serve this when my nut allergy family members are here, but when they are not around, this is a salad to savor.

Mom’s dressing was a simple mayonnaise, brown sugar, and vinegar concoction, but I decided to give this a little more interest. I used maple syrup for the sweetener, a hefty amount of sriracha hot sauce, some ginger, a bit of garlic, and scallions in place of the onions. It’s a good combination, and I think Mom would like this a lot.

Taste, adjust, taste again

Make this your own! Taste the dressing (always with a piece of the broccoli so you get a better sense of the flavor). If you want more heat, add more sriracha. Do you like it sweeter? More vinegar?

If you can’t find the Marcona almonds, or there’s an allergy, substitute pine nuts, also nice and buttery, which is how I make it for my daughter and granddaughter. Look for the pine nuts from Italy or the U.S., check the label. Often, they are from China, and you don’t want those. Here’s an informative article sent to be by Leah of autumnbaygal.blog which outlines a dangerous condition caused by the type of pine nut they grow in China. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/pine-nut-mouth_b_1310216.

I used Hellman’s Vegan Mayonnaise, but you can use regular Hellman’s, or your favorite.

Of course, you can always add the apple and use purple onion instead of the scallions.

Sweet and Spicy Broccoli and Pea Salad

  • 1 large head, or two small, of broccoli
  • ½ cup fresh or thawed frozen peas
  • 3 or 4 scallions, sliced
  • ½ cup vegan or regular mayonnaise
  • 2 to 3 tbsp. sriracha 
  • 1 tbsp. finely grated ginger on microplane
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely grated on microplane
  • 1 tbsp. dark Vermont maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped Marcona almonds
  • 1/3 cup chopped crystalized ginger

            Break the broccoli into small florets. Peel and chop the stems as well, they are delicious! Steam for about 3 to 4 minutes, just until crisp/tender, then immediately rinse under cold water. Drain and set aside.

            Steam the peas for just a couple of minutes if fresh. If frozen, simply thaw.

            Make the dressing: in a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sriracha, ginger, garlic, maple syrup, vinegar, and sesame oil. Whisk well, season with salt, then use a piece of the broccoli dipped in the dressing to taste. Correct the seasoning.

            Add the broccoli, peas, and scallions to the dressing bowl, season with a little more salt, then add the almonds and ginger, reserving some for the garnish.

            Plate and garnish! Don’t forget to mix it up when serving since the dressing settles a little.

To make this a meal, add some baked tofu or grilled shrimp!

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40 Comments Add yours

  1. Helen says:

    Salad looks amazing. I’ve been looking for some recipes with peas actually. Might try this one.

    1. Thank you Helen! You can add as few or more peas according to what you like. Hope you enjoy it’s much as we do.

  2. The dressing sounds sweet and spicy. It def gets my vote. 🍃🌶

    1. Thanks! We all voted for it too! ❤️💕

  3. Sherry M says:

    we love broccoli in this house, so i’m sure this would go down well!

    1. We are the house of broccoli too, and this one disappears quickly!

  4. Carol Taylor says:

    Siracha is our favourite addition at the moment love the addition of ginger as well 🙂 Sounds delicious think I will try this with halloumi 🙂

    1. I think it would be really delicious with halloumi! Let me know how it goes!

  5. The dressing sounds wonderful, and I love using nuts in salads, I’ve got to try Marcona almonds next time!

    1. Thank you Jenna, we love the dressing! It’s also good on other vegetables. Do look for the almonds, they are quite tasty.

  6. chef mimi says:

    Fabulous. Aren’t Marconas the best?! Love this recipe.

    1. Thank you! I love Marcona almonds too, so sweet and buttery!

  7. Lady A says:

    That’s just what I am craving right now.

    1. It is a dish to crave, especially the dressing!

  8. capost2k says:

    Almost all of my favorites are in this salad! The only thing I would change is the addition of scallops. 😋 Don’t be scared; they would go great with the sweets!

    1. I think you might be right! I’ve had this with grilled shrimp, but scallops with their sweetness would also be wonderful!

  9. Could I get a quart to go please? 🙂 Seriously, looks delicious.

    1. You got it honey!

  10. BERNADETTE says:

    Dorothy a real nice change up. I like broccoli salad the old way but all that mayo and bacon doesn’t agree with me anymore. I am going to starting using this recipe.

    1. Thanks Bernadette! I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

  11. Rekha Unni says:


    1. Thank you so much for stopping by!

  12. Christy B says:

    I’m a huge broccoli fan so this one is calling to me!

    1. It does call loudly to broccoli lovers!

  13. I will have to save some of my fresh peas for this yummy salad.

    1. It’s always a feast for the eyes as well!

  14. I never would have made a salad like this. I will now!

  15. nancyc says:

    Yum! Another delicious-looking and beautiful salad! Great combination of ingredients! 🙂

    1. Thank you Nancy! This was definitely a keeper!

  16. Carolyn Page says:

    Right up my alley this one, Dorothy. I love the addition of the ginger. Yep: It’s a keeper!

    1. Thank you! The ginger is my favorite part!

  17. Marcona almonds? I didn’t even knew there are varieties in the almonds. Thank you for always beginning something new to us. Love the green platter…..And spicy sounds absolutely heavenly right about now.

    1. And the ginger….yum….Big fan here

      1. Always ginger!!!!

    2. The Marcona almonds are Spanish, and a real treat! Look for them, and you’ll find them!

  18. Leah says:

    Thank you for this article, Dorothy. My mom-in-law’s broccoli salad was always so delicious but I suspect that she puts a commercial seasoning package with lots of sodium. I tend to “eat clean” and from scratch as much as I can. I will try your recipe one of these day. By the way, I found this article about pine nuts from China. Thanks for the heads up. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/pine-nut-mouth_b_1310216

    1. Thank you so much Leah! I’m going to add this to my article. I had heard about some contaminated nuts previously, but not about this particular condition. Again, thank you.

  19. Wow! So amazingly appealing with a unique greenery of wholesomeness. You got it perfect here… veggie mixes should always be a fun excitement! Hope you are having a relaxing day dear Dorothy!💓💐

    1. We had a quiet but lovely holiday Monday, and now it is back to the routine!

  20. Forestwood says:

    Another yummy salad for summer! Goodness U was surprised about the pine nuts. I went straight to check ours – they are packed in Australia from “imported” ingredients.

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