Tuesday, May 14, 2024

ChezCindy: Broccoli Spoon Salad with Brown Rice


I was not familiar with "spoon salad" until recently when perusing the New York Times Recipes.  Then again in a post by the lovely Daphne Oz.  Spoon salad is simply a matter of chopping the ingredients all to a similar size so that it can be eaten with a spoon.  Thus, creating a perfect bite each time.  

In this recipe, I take a familiar broccoli salad recipe to create a spoon salad using broccoli and brown rice.  Adding the rice makes this a hearty salad, adding toasted pecans and dried cranberries.  The salad can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for a few hours.  Be sure to set it out to bring to room temperature when ready to serve.  Grab a spoon and dig in!    

Broccoli Spoon Salad with Brown Rice
2 cups cooked brown rice, cooled
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons agave sweetener
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium heads of broccoli
1 medium granny smith apple
3 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese
3/4 cup toasted pecans
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup toasted sunflower seeds

Prepare the brown rice as per the package directions.  Measure out 2 cups, setting aside to cool.  

In a large mixing bowl, prepare the salad dressing by adding in the Dijon mustard, agave, vinegar, and sea salt.  Use a whisk to combine.  Gradually add in 1 tablespoon of olive oil at a time, whisking in after each addition.  Set the dressing aside.

Prepare the broccoli heads by cutting off the dry end of the stalk.  Finely chop the remaining broccoli, cutting into 1/2-inch pieces, using the stalk and the florets.  Steam the broccoli for 1 minute using either a steamer basket and a pan of water on the stove top, or in a bowl in the microwave.  Remove the broccoli from the steamer, spreading it out onto a towel to stop the cooking process and to dry the broccoli.  Set aside.

Finely chop the apple, no need to peel.  Finely chop the cheddar cheese.  Chop the toasted pecans.  

Put it all together:  Add the cooked rice and steamed broccoli (both cooled) to the bowl with the prepared salad dressing.  Add in the chopped apple, cheese, toasted pecans, cranberries, and the sunflower seeds.  Using a large spoon, stir all to combine, coating the ingredients with the dressing.  Taste for seasoning, adding more salt as needed.  Serve at room temperature.  The mixed salad can be stored in the refrigerator, bring to room temperature for serving.  

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