A few weeks ago I found myself wanting something really fresh and garlicky and inspired by an earlier discovery of raw sprout salad, I decided to give raw broccoli a go, this is the resulting salad, made up largely of what happened to be around and it really seems to work – it’s certainly made my tastebuds happy. I found myself fancying this for lunch today, so am currently eating a big bowl of this salad whilst I type.
A very large handful of quite small Broccoli florets
A Handful of Cherry Tomatoes, or to taste
A Lump of Stilton Cheese (other cheese will do too)
Seeds – Pumpkin or sunflower
A clove of garlic
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Juice of half a lemon
Freshly ground black pepper
Bread for croutons (optional)
The ‘cooking’ part of this is more of an assembly –
1. Broccoli – This is lovely with completely raw broccoli but if you don’t fancy that or if your broccolis not looking at its best, I find that a very quick blanch in boiling water for no more than 1 minute leaves in crunchy but easier to eat. Be sure to run cold water over the broccoli the minute you drain it to stop the cooking process straight away and avoid soggy broccoli. The broccoli florets should be quite small – small enough that in a salad, you could spear broccoli and a taste of something else on your fork and still get it in your mouth!
2. Cherry tomatoes – quarter these to give nice little sweet hits throughout the salad.
3. Stilton – chop up very fine, the stilton adds nice little salty savoury touches to the salad – other types of cheese work great too – I sometimes have cheddar instead if there’s no stilton in the fridge.
4. Seeds – Toast these gently over a medium-low heat in a frying pan, being sure to move around regularly to avoid burning. After a few minutes they should begin to change colour and toast up nicely
5. Curly Kale – Tear the most tender and small looking bits up to give little penny sized bits of kale. Don’t cook this at all – as long as you go for only nice leafy bits (and no stalk) its really lovely raw. Don’t forget to wash it though!
6. Avocado – Chop smallish but not too small – do this last to stop it browning before you eat it!
7. Croutons – Chop bread into nice dainty chunks, coat in olive oil and seasoning and bake or grill until crispy. Make sure to check on these and turn them as required otherwise its easy to end up with a very burnt side and a not very cooked side on each crouton!!
8. Dressing – combine lemon juice, crushed garlic (about half a clove is plenty for 1 person), a good glug of olive oil (the amount of olive oil to put in should be roughly twice the amount of lemon juice) and add the sea salt and black pepper. If you like a chilli kick, add either finely chopped chilli to taste or a splash of tobasco at this stage.
9. Assembly – Mix together everything except the croutons, put in a nice wide bowl and sprinkle the croutons over the top.