“To make a good salad is to be a brilliant diplomatist — the problem is entirely the same in both cases. To know exactly how much oil one must put with one’s vinegar.” — Oscar Wilde
Tired of eating the same old chopped romaine with a squirt of low-calorie ranch? Then don’t. It’s time to re-think side-salads as dinner stars, not sad associates.
This post was inspired by Robin, who recently requested ideas for making side salads that inspire great eating, not sleeping. I am happy to oblige, because I love a good side salad. I owe it all to my mother, who made all varieties of accompanying salads for most every meal of my youth, for reasons of good taste and nutrition, sure, but also to stretch her budget.
I have one more reason for adding plenty of side salads to my regular menus: they make the rest of the meal a no-brainer. When I am stumped for dinner ideas, I find that, if I figure out a flavorful side salad, the rest of the meal comes together far more easily (insert meatless burger, omelet, poached eggs, etc.).
This simple broccoli salad is just the sort of side salad that makes my day. Or rather, dinner! It is bright with fresh lime and cilantro (wonderful on a wet and gloomy spring day), and cinch to assemble.
If you are a raw broccoli fan, you can skip the step of steaming the broccoli. Simply cut or chop the raw broccoli into petite florets (and some tender stem pieces).
I am not such a fan, so I give the broccoli pieces a quick steaming. It only takes a minute or two of steaming to transform chewy texture of raw broccoli into crunchy-crispness.
Cool the broccoli, and then toss with fresh lime juice, lime zest, cilantro, green onions, a bit of oil to coat, and salt & pepper to taste. It’s so simple, but so good!
If you want to make the salad a main dish, just toss in a drained, rinsed can of black beans. Easy & delicious!
Happy eating, everyone!
- 4 medium broccoli crowns (about 1.25 lbs) cut into small florets and small tender stem pieces
- 2 medium limes
- 1 and ½ tablespoons vegetable oil (I used avocado oil)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 gren onions, very thinly sliced crosswise (green and white parts)
- fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Steam the broccoli in a steamer for 1 to 2 minutes until slightly tender and bright green. Transfer to a medium bowl and cool in the refrigerator.
- Meanwhile, grate 1-1/2 teaspoons of lime zest from the limes and squeeze 2 tablespoons of lime juice.
- Add the oil, lime zest and lime juice to cooled broccoli; toos to coat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss in the cilantro and green onions.
Variation: Add a 15 ounce can of drained, rinsed black beans to the salad to make it main0dish worthy.