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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