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Broccoli Salad with Feta, Olive-Oil-Fried Almonds & Currants

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Serves four to six.

The combination of sweet and salty makes this salad an ideal antipasti course, or try it as a side dish for grilled chicken or swordfish.

  • 1 lb. broccoli
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons dried currants
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs. red-wine vinegar
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup blanched, slivered almonds
  • 3 oz. feta (preferably French), crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
Tip:
You can substitute Marcona almonds for the slivered almonds; since they are already fried in olive oil, you can skip that step.

Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil over high heat.

Meanwhile, tear off any broccoli leaves and trim the bottoms of the stems. Cut the florets just above where they join the large stem, and then cut each floret lengthwise in half or in quarters through its stem (but not the buds). The top of each floret should be about the size of a quarter. Using a vegetable peeler or paring knife, peel the tough outer skin from the large stem, removing as little flesh as possible. Cut the stem into baton-shaped pieces about 1/4 inch wide and 2 inches long.

Boil the florets and stem pieces until they’re tender (pierce with a paring knife or taste a piece) but still offer a bit of resistance, about 3 min. Drain the broccoli, spread it on a baking sheet in an even layer, and set aside to cool—it will continue to cook as it cools.

Put the currants in a small bowl, add enough hot water to cover, and let sit until softened, about 10 min. Meanwhile, using a mortar and pestle or the flat side of a chef’s knife, mash the garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt. Transfer the garlic to a small bowl and add the vinegar and cayenne. Let sit for about 10 minutes.

Warm 1 Tbs. of the oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the slivered almonds and fry, stirring frequently, until golden brown, 2 to 3 min. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and season with salt.

Drain the currants. Whisk the remaining 4 Tbs. oil into the vinegar mixture. Just before serving, combine the broccoli, currants, feta, and half of the almonds in a large bowl. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and toss gently to combine. Taste and season with a pinch more salt if necessary. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with the remaining almonds and the cilantro, if using.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on six servings; Calories (kcal): 250; Fat (g): 21; Fat Calories (kcal): 190; Saturated Fat (g): 4; Protein (g): 7; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 13; Carbohydrates (g): 10; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5; Sodium (mg): 450; Cholesterol (mg): 15; Fiber (g): 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Absolutely delicious! Can't believe what a super dish this was and how simple to prepare. Will definitely do again.

My husband hates garlic and feta, and he's not crazy about broccoli, yet he loves this sweet-and-tangy, soft-and-crunchy salad. I sometimes make the whole salad as a one-dish-meal for the two of us on a hot day.

I made this salad for the first time when we were expecting company, and everyone liked it. One guest commented that the dressing must be "your own" (rather than bottled). My husband usually eats broccoli as penance for his sins, but he asked me to put this recipe on the make-again list.

This was really delicious... especially considering how easy it was. I served it at a dinner party and it was a big hit. I will definitely make this again and again. What a great way to use up broccoli!! I used dried cranberries and they were really good. I have also made the salad with both cilantro and basil and both were good. I agree with the first reviewer in that the salad was not nearly as good cold. So... the second time I made it I held back the toppings for what I didn't think I'd eat and just tossed everything together before serving. The leftovers were much better!

This was really delicious... especially considering how easy it was. I served it at a dinner party and it was a big hit. I will definitely make this again and again. What a great way to use up broccoli!!

This was excellent. I did all the prep ahead of time and assembled and dressed it when my company arrived. It was a big healthy hit. A keeper. Next time I will try crasins in place of the currents.

Wonderful. I liked it best when the broccoli was still warm and I had just tossed the salad. I refrigerated the leftovers, and had leftovers for lunch the next day. I still liked the salad, but it had been amazing when just made.

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