Italians know how to cook broccoli. In fact they introduced it to the St. Paul Farmers’ Market about 60 years ago. There are plenty of varieties available to the home cook. Broccolini, with smaller florets and longer, thin stalk is a little sweeter and takes like a cross of broccoli and asparagus. Rapini, or broccoli rabe, although it has the same frilly foliage, is not broccoli at all but a cousin of the turnip and is stronger and more assertive than broccoli. For this salad recipe we’re going to use the most familiar variety: sprouting broccoli with its thick centra stalk and canopy of florets.
Broccoli Salad with Peanuts and Craisins
Serves 6 to 8
Use the whole head of broccoli here; there’s no need to throw away the stems that are loaded with flavor and nutrients. This salad is best when the flavors have had a chance to marry. Make it ahead and store in the refrigerator overnight.
1 head broccoli, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces, stems included
¼ cup finely chopped red onion
½ cup craisins
½ cup roasted peanuts or sunflower seeds
½ to 1 cup good quality mayonnaise, as needed
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon coriander
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Put the broccoli, onion, raisins, and peanuts into a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, cumin, coriander. Season with the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Toss in enough dressing to generously coat the broccoli.
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