Category Archives: Vegetables

Fried Green Plantain Chips

One of the highlights of our summers in Puerto Rico was our trips into Viejo San Juan, Old San Juan.  Cynthia and I would be taken by our aunt, Madrinita, and, of course, Mama would accompany us.  It was an all-day affair of shopping at my aunt’s favorite jewelry store, always lunch at La Mallorquina, the oldest operating restaurant in the Western Hemisphere and culminating perhaps with a tour of cellist Pedro Casals’ house.  What wonderful times we had!  In and out of shops we went, Mama buying gorgeous French and Belgian sets of tablecloths and napkins, Madrinita giving in to the siren call of a particularly lovely gold bracelet as Cynthia and I stood by watching wide-eyed and highly impressed.  My mother and aunt adored each other and this outing gave them the opportunity to spend uninterrupted hours catching up on family news and their own sister secrets.  Cynthia and I were already BFF’s so we, too, shared our own 8-year-old/six-year-old secrets, whispering that maybe, just maybe, this was the trip Madrinita would buy us some pretty little earrings, a delicate ring or exquisite charm for our bracelets.  As we grew older, Madrinita and Mama strolled ahead of us, arm in arm, chattering away.  Cynthia and I lagged behind enjoying the lazy afternoon, soaking in the beauty of cascading bougainvilla spilling off the balconies above us and the magnificence of the smooth blue cobblestones below our feet dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries.  One of our favorite games was to hunt for ruts and grooves cut into the cobblestones by horses dragging canons up to the fort and back.  Puerto Rico was a Spanish territory, a jewel in their crown, and the Spaniards were quick to defend it against land attacks.  We were content with the pleasures of the sun on our skinny, little arms, the soft padding sound of our shoe leather against the rounded cobblestones and the dichotomy between the loud, riot of colors and the quiet, graciousness of the residents.  Toward the end of the day Cynthia and I tended to unravel.  After a day  of walking and getting too much sun we both needed energy, a small pick-me-up to tide us over until we got back to home base: our grandparent’s house.  On every corner it seems there was a minute wooden cart, always gaily painted a bright red, shielded from the searing afternoon rays of the sun by a striped awning or umbrella.  Alongside the cart and in the shade sat the vendor usually on a folded, wooden chair, wearing a straw hat and welcoming us with a brilliantly white and friendly smile.  All the vendors were kind and patient with us, treating us as the adults we had yet to be.  Some sold ice cream, some snow cones shaved from huge blocks of ice and others offered little bags of plantain chips gathered in small, wax paper bags, folded at the top and fastened with one staple in the center of the parcel.  We were, and still are, crazy about them.  Each bag was 10¢.  When enjoying these plantain chips with my husband, Jimmy, he pointed out it gives new meaning to “dime bag”.  But they were a fabulous treat for us and gave us the stamina needed until we reached home.  We loved everything about them, from the “snap” of the first chip down to the bits of salt at the bottom of every bag.  Another perfect ending to a perfect day.

This is one hors d’oeuvre you won’t often see here in the states unless you are at a gathering with Latinos.  Plantain chips are easy and quick to prepare.  And although they are fried, you will find that properly stored, the chips stay fresh and crisp for two or three days after preparing…if they last that long.  In fact, I find their flavor almost deeper the following day.  Plantain chips are typically served as an appetizer or snack but my family and I love them crumbled over shrimp, fish or mixed green salad.  We like them sprinkled with sea salt or drizzled with a little chimichurri sauce. They marry exceptionally well with all manner of sea food.  This recipe may be doubled or tripled and if not serving immediately, do not need to be reheated. Just serve them at room temperature.  The thick, hard peel of the green plantain has to come off, easily done but not as easy as peeling a yellow banana.  Plantains stain your fingers so I always wear disposable gloves.  The following is how I peel them.  You will find 3-4 ridges running lengthwise on each plantain.  Using a paring knife cut through the peel down the length of the plantain taking care not to cut into the flesh.  Starting at the top, slide your finger under the skin and pry each section away.  I run the paring knife lightly over the surface of each plantain to scrape off any bits of peel left behind.  You’ll see the flecks of peels as they will turn gray in color making it easy to scrape off any missed.  The chips are thinly sliced into a 1/16″ thickness.  I use a lightweight mandoline that makes slicing the plantains a snap but obviously a sharp kitchen knife will work just fine.  Some people then give the sliced plantains a quick rinse of salted water, drain them well, then fry them.  The rinsing keeps the starchy slices from sticking together.  However, I find no matter how well I drain them there is always a certain amount of moisture causing the hot oil to pop so I don’t rinse.  It’s up to you.  I keep my gloves on while frying, also, to avoid any stains as my fingers touch the slices while dropping them into the hot oil.  Last of all, and this is important, the very second you take the chips out of the hot oil and drain on paper towels sprinkle them with sea salt.  The tiny bit of oil on them will help the salt to stick whilst the oil drains off.

Fried Green Plantain Chips

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 2 green plantains
  • vegetable or canola oil
  • sea salt
  1. Peel the plantains and cut into round slices 1/16″ thick, about the thickness of a quarter.
  2. In a frying pan heat about 2-3 inches vegetable or canola oil to a little lower than high, about 375°.
  3. If rinsing the slices do so now.  Fill a large bowl with salted water, put the sliced plantains in the water, swirl with your hand and drain in a colander.   Pat dry with paper towels.
  4. Carefully drop the chips into the hot oil in batches.  I typically fry one sliced plantain at a time.
  5. As the slices hit the hot oil, stir with a spider or slotted spoon to keep the chips from sticking together.
  6. Fry until golden, about 3-4 minutes, gently stirring all the while to ensure even cooking.
  7. With the spider or slotted spoon, remove the chips and transfer to paper towels to drain.
  8. Immediately sprinkle with sea salt and serve.
  9. If serving another time, store the cooled plantain chips in an airtight gallon freezer bag or plastic container.

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Asian Brussel Sprouts

Tomorrow is my favorite and only brother’s birthday.  I tease him because we are so different yet our lives seem to run along the same parallels.  Tommy is wonderful.  He rescues me when my dishwasher is falling out of the wall and when my life is falling apart.  He often walks the dog and constantly walks with me through Scripture.  He gives me strength to get up…the kind of strength needed when life knocks you down so hard you can’t breathe.  He doesn’t simply say  “C’mon.  Get over it.”   No.  And he doesn’t judge.  He gently offers two hands to lift me up out of the secluded corners of pain; he softly brushes off the mud of hard knocks and always has soothing words and hope when my soul has been hurt and buffeted.  I lean on him as frequently as he leans on the kitchen bookcase, long and graceful legs crossed, drink in hand, patiently waiting for a taste of whatever I’m cooking.  He is my treasure.  It hasn’t always been this way.  Tommy was separated from our family when he was married.  We missed him terribly but he’s back with us now and we’re damn glad.   He’s the family prankster, always leaving a couple of sweet potatoes and the odd grapefruit on James’ bed pillows as his calling card.  James always came out of his bedroom jubilantly stating, “Uncle Tommy was here!”  When I lived at my parents’ house before Jimmy and I married, Tommy hung a few brightly colored bras of mine and a few pairs of bikini panties on the paddles of my bedroom ceiling fan.  Round and round they leisurely rotated for any and all to see.  He was just pleased as punch at my outrage.  As goofy as he sometimes is, he is equally sharp-witted and highbrow in his humor, right up my alley.  But his heart…his huge, sweet, kind and giving heart is something to behold.  As I type this my eyes sting with tears.  My emotions are so close to the surface; I know my 3:00 tequila has nothing to do with it, I love my baby brother so.  To celebrate his birthday he’s coming over for dinner tonight and one of his dishes will be these asian brussel sprouts.  Because he’ll eat anything and everything, he was given the  childhood nickname of “Pigdog” by our little sister and me.  I happen to know for a fact he LOVES these brussel sprouts.  I have 4 pounds for 3 people.  So happy birthday, Pigdog.  I love you!

I’ve been obsessed with these asian brussel sprouts for a couple of weeks now.  I eat them as a snack they’re so doggone good.  Hot, warm or cold, I think they’re fabulous.  I find most of the ingredients at my grocery store, Publix, but the bonito flakes I picked up at Whole Foods.  Fresh Market probably carries them as well.  The sriracha chili sauce adds a tiny bit of heat so if heat ain’t your thing leave it out.  The honey gives the sprouts a smooth sweetness while the lemon grass, ginger and fish sauce round out this deep flavor blast.  I include any random sprout leaves to the roasting pan as they become crisp and savory during the roasting process much like potato chips.  In retrospect maybe they are best straight out the oven but they’re mighty fine the following day, too.  Hope you like ’em!

Asian Brussel Sprouts

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 2 pounds brussel sprouts, root end trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 6″ piece lemon grass, cut into thirds and bruised to release flavor
  • 4 garlic cloves, grated
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2-3 generous tablespoons bonito flakes
  • 1 rounded tablespoon chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400°.  Line a large baking sheet with tin foil and lightly cover with non-stick baking spray.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine trimmed brussel sprouts,  olive oil, salt and pepper.  Toss well with your hands until all the sprouts are coated with the olive oil.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes or until the outside of the sprouts are dark and any leaves are crispy.
  4. While the sprouts are baking, combine all the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat.
  5. Cook the sauce for 4-5 minutes until the garlic and ginger are soft.  Set aside until the brussel sprouts have finished roasting.
  6. Remove sprouts from the oven and transfer to a large, shallow bowl.
  7. Discard lemon grass pieces from sauce, drizzle the sauce over the sprouts and toss well with two large spoons.
  8. Serve immediately.

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Fresh Tomato and Pesto Spaghetti Squash

Here we are in March…in like a lion, out like a lamb.  In south Florida we are most definitely enjoying lamb-like weather.  Jimmy and I are found in the courtyard often, reading and writing, the dog typically sprawled at our feet.  Jimmy will spend his mornings outside working on his laptop, leisurely smoking his pipe which, by the way, smells positively heavenly.  We read the New York Times in the morning and take pleasure in a simple happy hour or dinner in the evening.  Clearly the mosquitos haven’t found our house yet…but they will.  In the meantime, if it’s morning or evening, assume we’re puttering outside.  This dish is a spring and summer joy.  Simple and healthful, it may be served as a vegetable side dish or as an entree with a piece of grilled tuna or chicken atop.  It’s lovely at a picnic or poolside as it travels extremely well.  Spaghetti squash is much lighter than pasta and undeniably lower in calories.  Those who are allergic to wheat will love this alternative.  No more sneezing and itchy eye!  Regardless of your reason to try this dish, I think you’ll truly enjoy it and so will your family.

Fresh Tomato and Pesto Spaghetti Squash

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 2 spaghetti squash, medium size
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 pints grape tomatoes
  • 1 1/2-2 cups fresh basil leaves plus a few sprigs for garnish
  • 1 7-ounce container of store-bought pesto or approximately 1 cup of homemade, I use store-bought, reduced fat
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese. This is completely optional and may be left out for a dairy-free, vegan or paleo dish.  It’s still absolutely delicious.
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400°.  Line a large baking sheet with tin foil and cover foil lightly with non-stick baking spray.  Set aside.
  2. Cut both squashes in half lengthwise.
  3. Using a large, metal spoon, scoop out all the seeds from the squashes.  Discard the seeds.
  4. Place the squashes cut side down on the baking sheet and bake for 45-60 minutes or until the flesh is fork tender.  I check them at 45 minutes and return to the oven checking for doneness every 5 minutes or so.
  5. While the squashes are baking finely mince the garlic and place in a medium size, non-reactive bowl.  I use glass.
  6. Cut the tomatoes in half and add them to the garlic.
  7. Using your hands, rip the fresh basil into small, bite size pieces and add them to the garlic-tomato mixture.
  8. Add the pesto and olive oil to the tomato mixture.  If using parmesan cheese, add it as well.  Mix thoroughly so all ingredients are well combined.
  9. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until the squashes have baked.
  10. Remove the squashes from the oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes or until they’re easy to handle.
  11. With a small paring knife cut the flesh of the squashes lengthwise down to the shell being careful not to cut through to your hand, making 3 or 4 parallel cuts, each cut about 3/4″-1″ apart.  This allows bite size pieces and makes it easier to assemble the dish.
  12. With a large, metal spoon scoop the flesh out of the squashes and place into a large bowl.
  13. Pour the tomato-pesto mixture over the squash and gently toss until all the squash is well coated.
  14. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with any fresh basil leaves and serve.
  15. If serving within a few hours the bowl may be covered with plastic wrap and then transferred to the serving platter right before serving.

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Meyer Lemon, White Bean and Mint Salad

It’s the season of Lent and, for those of you who don’t know, that means no meat in our house.  For a total of 40 days and 40 nights.  It wasn’t easy when my husband and son decided to abstain but over the years we’ve kind of gotten into the rhythm of it to the point we now feel perfectly comfortable kidding around about the dish we truly miss.  It goes something like, “Oh, my gosh.  You know what I really craved today? A burger.  A great big, juicy burger with lettuce and tomato and pickles and mustard, ketchup and mayo.  With a big pile of crispy fries.”  Then the other person replies, “I know.  I’d totally kill for a chicken wing.  Super hot and covered with sauce.  I couldn’t stop thinking about them.”  Every year it’s the same song and dance.  This salad, however, alleviates some of the pain.  I won’t lie and say it’ll take the place of meat but it does fill the hole.  It’s wonderful topped with a warm fillet of fish just off the grill.  I scoop it onto bruschetta followed by a slow drizzle of olive oil for a tempting and pretty hors d’oeuvre.   White beans will never take the place of crispy, spicy sopressata on a pizza, comforting spaghetti and meat balls or a savory, homemade chicken salad sandwich but for right now, they’ll do.  They’ll do just fine.

One of the finer points of this salad is that it requires no marination time.  Once it’s prepared it can be served.  That said, it can also be put together a few hours prior to serving and it’s still fantastic.  The recipe is easily halved or doubled with perfect results.  The salad travels well to parties and picnics, feeds a crowd and is pretty inexpensive to make.  Meyer lemons are much sweeter and not as sour as regular lemons but if Meyers are not available in your area, no worries.  Regular lemons are just fine and no one will know the difference.  This bean salad can be served as a main dish or as a side.

Meyer Lemon, White Bean and Mint Salad

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 4 15-ounce cans of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 bunches of flat leaf parsley, rinsed and dried
  • 2 bunches fresh mint leaves, rinsed and dried
  • 1 small red onion, chopped and all tough skins discarded
  • 1 large Meyer lemon or 2 regular lemons
  • 3/4 cup good olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Chop the parsley and mint leaves and place in a large bowl.
  2. Zest the lemon then juice it, adding both to the bowl with the parsley.
  3. Add the olive oil to the parsley mixture and stir well until all the ingredients are completely combined.
  4. Add the beans to the parsley mixture and gently toss so as not to break up the beans but to completely coat the beans with the parsley mint mixture.
  5. Taste for salt and pepper.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until serving.

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Creamed Vegetable Soup

 

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This vegetable soup is perfect for those nights when you crave warm, comforting soup but have little energy, never mind time.  The vegetables are cut into good-sized chunks, cook until tender then are blitzed with an immersion blender or in a food processor or blender.  The recipe makes quite a bit but the soup is even more flavorful the following day and packs well for lunch at one’s desk.  It’s incredibly thick and hearty so often I serve it alone.  Paired with a grilled cheese sandwich of some sort, the soup with half a sandwich will leave you stuffed and satisfied.  If you prefer your soup thinner, by all means, add a bit more water or broth.  Make certain to blend until smooth and the end result will be a creamy, velvety meal.  Enjoy!

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Creamed Vegetable Soup

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 medium onions, cut into eighths
  • 7-9 cloves of peeled garlic
  • 5 medium zucchini, cut into 1″ rounds
  • 5 medium organic carrots, cut into 1/2″ rounds
  • 5 stalks of celery, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 7 large tomatoes, cut into eighths and core end trimmed off
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, stalk end snapped off
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • water
  • 1 large handful fresh basil leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large dutch oven or soup pot heat olive oil over medium heat and add onions.  Stir occasionally, and cook until they begin to turn translucent.
  2. Add the garlic, zucchini, carrots and celery and continue stirring.  Cook until the vegetables begin to soften.
  3. Add the tomatoes, green beans and oregano. Stir until all the vegetables are well combined and the oregano is evenly distributed.
  4. Add water to the pot just up to the vegetables but not covering them.  You can always add more water if needed.
  5. Bring to a boil then drop the heat down to a medium simmer, cover and cook for 45-60 minutes or until the carrots and green beans are tender and completely cooked through.
  6. Add the basil, stir, then process until smooth with an immersion blender or transfer to food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
  7. Add salt to taste
  8. Add freshly cracked black pepper over individual servings.
  9. May be served hot, warm or cold.

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Herb Roasted Tomatoes

Roasted tomatoes seem to always be lurking in my kitchen.  I use them in soups, tuck them into panini and top them on bruschetta.  They are both sweet and savory and can be used in a myriad of dishes.  The beauty of this recipe is your tomatoes don’t have to be ripe to end up with gorgeous roasted ‘maters.  My experience with grocery store tomatoes, and sometimes even the ones purchased at farmer’s markets, is a usually a huge disappointment.  No flavor and a dry, mealy texture is the norm today.  This recipe forgives the gassed tomato and the farmer that dared tout his product as “vine ripe from the farm”.  Let me make clear though, nothing, but nothing, will save the rock hard, pale pink fruit if it is carted to market before it’s time.

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But your average grocery store tomato will sing when prepared this way.  I serve it as a side along side other vegetable dishes and my family is happy, happy.  Any leftovers are roughly chopped and made into soup or bruschetta.  The flavors ripen with a bit of time so the following day these roasted tomatoes are sublime…warm, hot or cold.  They’re great on homemade pizza, in omelets and salads.  Juicy and full of flavor, they pair well with grilled beef and fish, as well as grilled zucchini and stuffed into grilled portobello mushrooms.  Over pasta?  You’ll think you died and went to heaven.  I hope you try these.  So good and so easy!

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Herb Roasted Tomatoes

  • Servings: 6-8 as a side
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 12 plum tomatoes
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme or herbes of provence
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 5 or 6 fresh thyme sprigs
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400°.
  2. Slice tomatoes lengthwise in half, slice out the core if you wish.  I leave it as it softens and sweetens as it roasts.
  3. Hold one half over the sink, cut side up and run your index finger through the tomato sections, scooping out and discarding the seeds and finish by placing in a large bowl.  Continue until all the tomato halves have been seeded.  Set aside.
  4.  In a small bowl combine garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and olive oil and mix well.
  5. Pour the garlic mixture over the seeded tomatoes and, using your hands, toss well making certain the garlic and herbs cover all surfaces of the seeded tomatoes.
  6. Line a rimmed baking sheet with tin foil and cover with non-stick spray.
  7. Place the tomatoes cut side up on the baking sheet.  Pour any garlic-olive oil mixture over the tomato halves and scatter the fresh thyme sprigs randomly over the tomatoes.
  8. Bake 45-55 minutes.
  9. Serve immediately or cool completely, store in an airtight container and refrigerate.

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Blue Ribbon Broccoli Salad

I have always hated broccoli.  The smell of it cooking made me gag.  My older sister, Cynthia, felt exactly the same and to this day we both run at the mere sight of broccoli on the stove.  As little girls we sometimes fought like cats and dogs but, regarding broccoli, we were always in agreement.  It did not go unnoticed by the two of us that Puerto Ricans didn’t embrace vegetables; red beans and rice, sliced tomatoes and avocados were the only vegetables to grace our grandparents’ dining room table.  Our summers on the island were stress free and complete indulgence.  It was during one of our summer sojourns our neighbors, Don Juan and Dona Angelita Orta, issued an invitation to dine with them that evening.  It was understood the summons was for Cynthia; I was not included.  I believe we were around the ages of eight and six and, regrettably, I was sassy, impulsive, unconcerned with hygiene and may have had a slight tendency to lie.  It goes without saying, Cynthia was the golden grandchild and I was the disgraced, six year old ne’er-do-well.  And Cynthia took full advantage.  She made certain I overheard her discussing which of our matching dresses she should wear.  Seething with impotent anger and pea green with jealousy I retreated to our bedroom.  I’d rather loll on my bed, stare at the ceiling and let the mosquitos bite me than endure her smug and simpering side eyes.  Late in the afternoon she was bathed, her hair brushed until it shone like mahogany and she  was dressed in one of her many party dresses.  I remained on my bed…most certainly smelling like a child who had spent the morning playing outside in the heat of the day and most definitely with the attitude of a defiant, petulant schoolgirl.  The time came for her to leave and while she ran a hairbrush one last time through her hair and told me goodbye, I replied with a hateful hiss, “I hope they serve you broccoli! Lots of it.”  She blanched at my comment knowing if they did, she would be obliged to eat it.  And eat it with a smile on her face.  Good manners are everything.  I didn’t look at her nor did I say goodbye as she left the house escorted by one of my aunts.  My nasty outburst had been heard by my family but seeing how dejected I looked and how low I felt, they said not a word and left me alone.  I stayed on that bed sulking, allowing the occasional mosquito to whine past my ear before finishing it off with a fast slap of my hand, for once not feeling satisfaction after the kill.  The phone rang in the other room and, after a moment or two, quick footsteps were heard.  “Alicia, levantate!” “Alicia, get up!” “The invitation was for both of you!”  My heart soared…then quickly filled with fear and apprehension.  “Titi, do you think they’ll serve us broccoli?”, I asked as I was hastily bathed.   I didn’t want to go next door where I knew, in my heart of hearts, we would be served a gleaming platter of emerald-green nasty.  Off I went dressed to match Cynthia, little white socks and Mary Janes on, not ready to face my comeuppance or eat humble pie in the shape of, gag me, the dreaded cruciferous known as broccoli.  The Orta’s housekeeper, Tata, whom I adored, answered the door.  I was welcomed with unconditional love from all.  And broccoli was not served.  I learned my lesson, though.  Hence forth I have tried to wish others well and, yes, over the years there have been many, many lapses in my thoughts and behavior but I will keep on trying!

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I only eat broccoli raw but I love it and this is one of my favorite ways to have it.  This salad is both sweet and savory; the carrots and dried cherries lend sweetness, the bacon and scallions are savory and while the toasted almonds provide a flavor link.  It needs no time to marinate, however, is equally delicious served the following day.  Cranberries may be substituted for the dried cherries although I feel the cherries bring much more flavor to the dish.  I cook my bacon in the oven.  The oven baked method is time-saving and clean up is a snap.  I rough chop almonds, cut about into thirds, then roast them in the oven.  I find I scorch too many nuts pan roasting them.    This salad may be served as a side dish or entrée but, regardless how it’s served, it will make a broccoli lover out of all!

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Blue Ribbon Broccoli Salad

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 cup mayonnaise, I use reduced fat
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 2 bunches of broccoli, there are typically 2-3 heads per bunch
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 5 scallions
  • 3 carrots
  • 3/4 cup whole almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  1. In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, celery seed and salt and whisk until smooth.  Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in refrigerator to chill.
  2. Cut broccoli into bite size florets and put in a large bowl.
  3. Cook bacon, drain well and chop or crumble.  Add to broccoli.
  4. Finely slice the scallions using all of the white and pale green.  Discard any tough, dark green ends. Add the scallions to the broccoli bowl.
  5. Using the large holes of a grater, grate the carrots into the bowl of broccoli.
  6. Rough chop the almonds, toast them, either in the oven or stove top, and add to broccoli.
  7. Rough chop the cherries then add to broccoli.
  8. Drizzle the mayonnaise dressing over the salad and toss well to completely combine.  Make certain all ingredients are covered with dressing.
  9. Serve each plate with a fresh grind of black pepper.

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