I’m a lucky woman. I’m married to the King of All Geeks, also known as The Evil Genius. He has an imagination that is only second to Harold and his Purple Crayon. He is never bored. He is fiercely loyal, can fix anything, and can build anything I ask him to build. He’s an adventurous eater. He loves vegetables; his standing order with sandwiches, salads, and any side dishes is “run it through the garden!”
When he had his birthday last week, I knew a big romantic salad* was in order. I lightened up a marinated broccoli salad that I saw around the interwebs a couple of years ago for the occasion. The salad in question had bacon, cheese, in some cases almonds, and lots of mayonnaise. Don’t get me wrong, I love bacon, cheese, almonds, and mayonnaise, but that was not what I was going for on this particular day. I wanted light, refreshing, flavourful, and bright. Bacon and cheese are a lot of things, but bright and refreshing are not amongst them.
*Name that movie!
How to tame raw onions:
Because red onions have a habit of repeating on you, I quickly pickled them by letting them rest in the rice vinegar while the rest of the ingredients were prepared. This took the edge off of the sulfurous onions and rendered them tangy and sweet. If you love raw onions but hate the after effects, this is a great way to tame them!
Yes, this recipe makes A LOT! It’s true… but I’ll tell you straight up that The Evil Genius and I ate an entire batch by ourselves with no help whatsoever from the honyaks in two days. That’s right. We ate eight crowns of broccoli between the two of us in two days. Even if you’re not as nutty nuts as we are for salads and vegetables, I urge you to make the full amount because this salad holds for an entire week in the refrigerator and just gets better as those days pass. In fact, if you can make it a day before you plan to eat it, you’ll be rewarded with a salad that is mind-bendingly good.
What alchemy turns bite-sized broccoli florets into something so irresistible? It’s a combination of the mix-ins (sweet red or black grapes, thinly sliced red onions, and shredded carrots) and the tangy dressing (mild rice vinegar with just enough mayonnaise to make it lightly creamy, black pepper, just a touch of sugar, and salt. Easy peasy!) If you’ve never had broccoli and grape salad before you might think I’m bonkers right now, but I promise you, it’s delicious! On a hot day, there really isn’t anything more refreshing. I could make a meal out of a bowl of Marinated Broccoli Salad and a slice of hearty bread. If you’re feeling like you need a little something more, this is the perfect accompaniment to grilled pork, chicken, fish or beef. It goes with everything I’ve tried it with thus far! Heck, I even topped a hot dog with it and was happy with the results.
Are you a vegetable maniac?