People always ask me if I only “cook Italian” in my kitchen, and I must say, that probably seventy-five percent of the time I keep an Italian kitchen. When we are back stateside however, I tend to stray away from my Italian side a little more often than I do when we are in Italy.
I have a constant debate with myself whether I should share recipes on this blog that are not Italian. After all, folks come here to search for that particular cuisine. On the other hand, when I have a great non-Italian recipe that I love, it seems crazy that I feel I cannot share it. This is NOT an Italian recipe. I have never, ever been served raw broccoli in Italy after all the years I have lived there. But this salad has become a family favorite in my house and is just too good not to share.
The ingredients in this salad may sound odd, but they just work together. The crunch of the broccoli and walnuts, the tartness of the apples, and the sweetness of the dried cranberries, all come together lightly coated in a creamy dressing.
What I like best about this salad is the crunch. As I have repeatedly said in the past, my favorite salads have lots of color, texture, and flavor. This salad is packed with all three, and you can change it up depending on your mood. I can throw this salad together for a quick lunch for my husband and I (it is one of his favorites), pack it in the cooler for a beach picnic or serve it as a side dish for a barbecue with friends.
I lightened the dressing up a bit because I had an ongoing tug of war with myself about using fresh, raw ingredients and then covering them with mayonnaise, but the adjustments of using light mayo and Greek yogurt do not affect the flavor at all. This salad will keep well if covered and refrigerated, although it does soften up if left to sit more than twelve hours before enjoying it.
To prepare the broccoli, I cut off the majority of the stem and then cut the florets into bite-sized pieces. The rest of the stem I simply dice and throw into the salad. For the apples, I like Granny Smith, Pink Lady, or Gala apples. You can use carrots cut into matchsticks or shredded carrots. I was feeling lazy so just used a coarse Microplane to shred my carrots, and it worked just fine.
- 1 Medium Head Broccoli, Cut Into Bite Sized Pieces
- 1 Cup Shredded Carrots (See Notes Above)
- 5 Green Onions, Chopped
- 2 Apples, Cut Into Quarters, Cored, And Diced
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, Cored, Seeded, And Diced
- 1/2 Cup Lightly Toasted Walnuts
- 1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries or Cherries
- 1/2 Cup Light Mayonnaise
- 1/2 Cup Fat Free Greek Yogurt
- 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar
- Toss together the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients, then pour over the salad.
- Toss well to coat evenly, then serve.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 232Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 317mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 5gSugar: 24gProtein: 4g