Sometimes there's a recipe I try that I love so much, I just can't wait to share it with you! So I bumped today's scheduled recipe to next week, and threw this bright lovely salad right on the menu for you today. Because, um, look at it. Springtime, summertime, right here in February. Makes my heart melt with happiness, and it tasted like I was right there at a summer picnic, with the warm soft green grass under my feet.
Okay, I know it's still only February in the real world, but with all the unusually warm weather we've been having in Utah, I couldn't help it! Truth: I even busted out our grill yesterday on our balcony. It smelled like heaven.
Let's jump into this salad before I venture too far ahead into the next few seasons, eh?
What I love most about this salad is how beautifully it uses fresh ingredients in their natural state. Each veggie, fruit, and nut has such a raw natural freshness to them, and each of those flavors play a huge role in making the overall taste of this salad come together perfectly.
The sweetness of the freshly grated carrots (use a cheese grater and a raw carrot, so easy), the bite of brightness from the red onion (remember to chop them small), the bold green flavor and texture from the raw broccoli, the slight chew from the cranberries (I used cherry craisins, because I'm an addict, and never going back), the beautifully tart juiciness from the fresh apple slices, and last but not least: the toasted and slightly candied crunch from the walnuts. I mean, the base of the salad has the powerful makings of such a killer salad, I knew right away this was going to be an instant favorite!
They were all such perfect flavors melding together to make such a simple, but beautiful, salad. This would be perfect for a potluck (with an ice bowl underneath for the mayo), or picnic. Also, this would make an awesome lunch to take to work or serve as a side at an upcoming baby/bridal shower or birthday party. The possibilities are annoyingly endless. My only suggestion would be to save the apples to the last minute before serving, and then chop & toss them in. It all depends on what apple you're using, though - some brown faster than others. Or, you could chop them early, soak them in lemon juice, and then toss them right in with everything else.
Let's not forget the creamy dressing. For me, I could skip this altogether and be perfectly happy. But there was something in the way the creaminess of the dressing, with that light & bright zing from the lemon juice, that transformed this into it's own brand new thing. You can go as light or heavy on the dressing as you'd like (or use Miracle Whip over Mayo if you'd prefer).
Hope you're all enjoying your week - we're already half way to the weekend. And a special weekend, too! Valentine's Day is coming!!! Woo hoo!!! I'll be right back at'cha on Friday with a dangerously sweet recipe, sure to make you happily run for the nearest glass of milk to soak up all the peanut butter & chocolate headed your way. :) xoxo
Fresh Broccoli & Apple Salad with Walnuts
makes 4-6 side-servings
2 medium heads of broccoli, chopped into small pieces
1 large carrot, grated
1 apple, cored and finely chopped
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 C walnuts, toasted on a skillet (and tossed in a little sugar during the toasting if you want candied)
1/4 C cranberries
1/2 C mayonnaise
1/2 C sour cream
2 T lemon juice
1 t sugar
1/4 t sea salt
pinch of pepper
1. Combine broccoli, apple, onion, walnuts, and cranberries in a large bowl.
2. Make the dressing by whisking together all the dressing ingredients in a separate bowl. Pour over the salad, and toss to dress all the ingredients.
recipe source: natasha's kitchen