freshbrocI’ve never been one of those broccoli haters. In fact, during the winter I eat a lot of broccoli.  I like to make it into soup, eat it steamed with a pat of butter and a squeeze of lemon, or chop it up into a quiche. I love most vegetables, but I’m short on imagination when it comes to preparing them.

That’s why when I found this recipe for fresh broccoli salad I had to make it immediately. I’d never thought you could do much with raw broccoli except chop it up and serve it as a crudite with dip. Now that I’ve been enlightened, the possibilities are endless. What makes the broccoli in this case so delightful is that it’s cut paper-thin on a mandoline. Now why hadn’t I thought of that?Especially since my mandoline has been my new best friend in recent months. The wispy slices look pretty and hold the dressing well. Used as a base for a summer salad, you could toss the broccoli with any number of vegetables and a simple vinaigrette. Adding some chopped herbs, toasted nuts, or even some salad greens like arugula are good options as well. Broccoli in the summer–who would have thought it?

This recipe is adapted from Alton Brown and is available on the Food Network website.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 lemon, zested

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon kosher salt or coarse sea salt

pinch freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

1 pound broccoli, rinsed, trimmed, and sliced thinly on a mandoline

6 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, haved

3 ounces coarsely chopped toasted pecans or hazelnuts

2 tablespoons finely chopped basil leaves

brocsalad

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Directions:

1) Whisk together the vinegar, zest, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Gradually add the olive oil, continuing to whisk constantly.

2) Add the broccoli and toss to coat. Cover and place in the fridge for 1 hour.

3) Stir in the tomatoes, hazelnuts and basil. Cover and allow to sit at room temperature or in the fridge for another 15 minutes before serving.

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