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  • Writer's pictureJolanta Nowobilski

Not Your Deli's Roasted Broccoli Salad

Roasted Broccoli Salad placed in a large bowl amongst a vibrant, floral Easter table setting
Roasted Broccoli Salad placed in a large bowl amongst a vibrant, floral Easter table setting

Word of advice: never try out a recipe with a million-and-one substitutions to serve at a family holiday. Sound, right? That's basically how I developed this recipe a few Thanksgivings ago. Yet, my family has been asking for it at every gathering since.

One Thanksgiving, I was tasked with bringing broccoli salad for our picnic-style gathering, even though my family isn't a broccoli salad-family. I quickly went to Pinterest for some inspiration. The recipe stems from The Food Charlatan's "Easy Broccoli Bacon Salad". I'm sure it's a great recipe as is, but I knew I couldn't convince most of my family to eat raw broccoli. Enter: broccoli roasted with garlic and smoked paprika. My family loves this as a side dish to meat and potatoes at home, so the next logical step was to incorporate it into a salad like this for our Thanksgiving picnic.

There was a great mishap when I created for the first time that was an important lesson in seasoning. Loving salt as much as I do, I seasoned both the broccoli and the dressing, resulting in an assault of salt. To remedy this, I hit the store and roasted a second batch of broccoli without salt. After mixing everything through, it tasted unevenly salted. I decided to leave that problem for the next day, because what else could I really do at that point? Much to my relief, when I tasted it the next morning, it was evenly seasoned because of that rest time. Lesson learned: season one thing at a time and taste as you go.

Not Your Deli's Roasted Broccoli Salad

- 3 large heads broccoli

- 1 tablespoon garlic powder

- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika

- 3 tablespoons canola oil

- salt and black pepper, to taste

- 1 1/4 cup of your favorite mayo

- zest of a lemon

- juice of half a lemon

- dash of cayenne

- 1/4 cup sugar

- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

- 2 tablespoons white vinegar

- 1 cup dried cranberries (I used a reduced sugar one)

- 1/3 cup roasted and salted sunflower seeds

- 1 cup of your favorite cheddar

- 1/2 red onion, finely diced

  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Chop broccoli into bite-sized pieces. Coat broccoli with garlic powder, smoked paprika, oil, salt, and pepper. Spread evenly on to lined baking sheets. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until evenly browned.

  2. To make the dressing, whisk together the mayo, lemon juice, lemon zest, cayenne, sugar, Dijon mustard, and white vinegar in a bowl large enough to fit your salad. Wait to adjust seasonings.

  3. Add the fixings (the dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, cheddar, and red onion) to your dressing.

  4. Cool the broccoli slightly before adding it to the dressing and fixings and stirring through. Cool in fridge for a few hours or a day in advance for best results before serving.

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