Cool, creamy, and deliciously fresh, this crunchy broccoli salad is a wonderful little side dish to whip up and share for your next spread!
Broccoli Salad, Savory-Sweet and Oh-So Crunchy
Part of the fun of this season is all the BBQ's, picnics, and get-togethers that go on, and you know what that means: lots and lots of good food!
It seems that there is always a need for a delicious side dish or salad this time of year, and while the classic staples such as a creamy macaroni salad, potato salad, or coleslaw are most often the top picks to whip up and share, it can be fun to get a little creative and come up with something new and fresh to offer up.
This savory-sweet and wonderfully crunchy broccoli salad is one of my latest favorites!
Because broccoli is so hearty and healthy, and maintains its wonderful crunch even when tossed in a creamy dressing, it's the perfect candidate to create a cool and flavorful salad with, and a terrific partner to most any main dish.
And I appreciate how easy it is to prepare!
I simply chop up some fresh, raw broccoli florets, and add in a small handful of candied walnuts, sliced almonds, and plump, dried cherries. Then, I toss everything gently together with a simple, creamy homemade dressing, and watch spoonful after spoonful disappear!
A Deliciously Creamy Broccoli Salad Dressing
When it comes to the dressing for my broccoli salad recipe, I really like to go in the direction of a little bit sweet and a little bit savory, and slightly similar to that of a coleslaw dressing.
And because I don't like the dressing to be too rich and too heavy, I opt to use a combination of mayonnaise and sour cream, along with a little drizzle of agave, some salt and pepper, a sprinkle of dried herbs, and a splash of apple cider vinegar.
This makes for a rich, creamy dressing while offering a bit of “zip” and freshness, which is ideal.
I simply add all of my dressing ingredients to a bowl and whisk them together until smooth and creamy; and I keep this dressing nice and cold in the fridge. When I'm ready to serve the broccoli salad, I toss everything together and spoon it into a serving bowl!
Tips & Tidbits for Broccoli Salad:
- Broccoli florets for ease: I like to use bags of pre-washed broccoli florets for this recipe—they're easy to chop up nice and small!
- Prepare ahead: You can chop your broccoli florets and add in your candied walnuts, sliced almonds, and cherries and keep these in a bowl in your fridge. You can whisk up the dressing and keep it in a covered container in the fridge as well, and then toss everything together when you're ready to serve.
- Apple cider vinegar for the dressing: I love apple cider vinegar for a creamy dressing because the flavor is amazing, and it already has a mild hint of sweetness to it; but you could also substitute white vinegar or even rice vinegar in a pinch.
- Other add-ins: You can substitute dried cranberries for the cherries, or candied pecans for the candied walnut—you can even serve some blue cheese on the side for folks to crumble in!
Feast your eyes on these, or just jump to the recipe:
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 8
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
• ½ cup mayonnaise
• ½ cup sour cream
• 2 tablespoons agave
• 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
• 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
• ¾ teaspoon salt
• Pinch black pepper
Broccoli Salad Ingredients:
• 2 (12 ounce) bags organic broccoli florets, chopped into very small pieces
• ½ cup candied walnuts, chopped
• ½ cup sliced almonds
• 1 cup dried cherries
-Prepare the dressing by adding all of the dressing ingredients to a bowl, and whisking together until smooth; cover and chill until ready to dress the salad.
-Add all of the salad ingredients to a bowl, and drizzle in as much of the dressing as you'd like; toss together, and serve.
Cook's Note: This recipe has been updated with even more love! And new photos!