|Barely Blanched Broccoli Salad with Feta and Fried Almonds is a nice change for Thanksgiving!|
Even though there's a great list of Low-Glycemic Thanksgiving Recipes in the recipe index, every year I have fun testing new ideas that might make it onto the Thanksgiving table. Last year my favorite new Thanksgiving recipe was probably 100% Whole Wheat Stuffing "Muffins" with Sausage and Parmesan, a dish I worked on for several tries until I got it just right. It's too early to tell what's going to be my favorite from Thanksgiving 2011, but I know that this Blanched Broccoli Salad with Feta and Fried Almonds is something I'll be making over and over. If you like broccoli, Feta, and almonds, be sure to try this dish even if you don't make it for Thanksgiving.
I found this recipe in Fine Cooking Annual Volume 2, and only adapted it a little from the version that Tasha DeSerio created for Fine Cooking. I did leave out the currants to keep the glycemic index a bit lower, but if you were making this for Thanksgiving some dried cranberries would be a nice addition. I'm not one of those people who minds raw broccoli in a salad, but in this recipe I thought blanching the broccoli cooked it just enough so it worked perfectly with the red wine vinegar dressing, Feta, and fried almonds.
Trim broccoli into same-size flowerets; then blanch for exactly 3 minutes in boiling water and pour into colander to drain.
Mash together the garlic clove and salt, then add the red wine vinegar and hot pepper flakes and let it sit for 10 minutes.
Heat 1 T olive oil in a frying pan, add almonds and fry until the almonds are golden brown. (Watch them carefully; this only takes 2-3 minutes and they can get too brown rather quickly if you're not careful.)
(Makes about 4 servings; recipe adapted slightly from Broccoli Salad with Feta, Olive Oil-Fried Almonds, and Currants from Fine Cooking, created by Tasha DeSerio.)
1 tsp. + 1/4 tsp. salt (I used kosher salt)
1 lb. broccoli crowns, trimmed and cut into same-size flowerets
1 large clove of garlic
2 T red wine vinegar
generous pinch hot pepper flakes (I used Aleppo pepper)
1 T + 4 T extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 - 3/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese (I used 1/2 cup, which I thought was enough)
Fill a medium-sized pot with water, add 1 tsp. salt, and bring to a boil. While the water is heating, trim the broccoli crowns and cut into bite-sized flowerets. (Make them all the same size so they will cook the same amount.) When water is boiling, add the broccoli, cook for exactly 3 minutes, then drain broccoli into a colander placed in the sink and let it cool.
Mash the garlic with 1/4 tsp. salt. (I used a mortar and pestle, but you can use anything that will smash up the garlic.) Mix in the hot pepper flakes and red wine vinegar and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
Heat 1 T of olive oil in a heavy frying pan, add the almonds, and fry until they are lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes. (Watch carefully because they can go from lightly browned to burned rather quickly.) Put the almonds on a plate covered with a paper towel and let almonds cool a few minutes. (You can salt them if you want, but I thought the salad was salty enough with the Feta.)
After 10 minutes, whisk the remaining 4 T of olive oil into the vinegar-garlic mixture. Combine the broccoli, Feta, and half the almonds in a bowl; then toss with the dressing to coat. Serve salad right away, with remaining almonds sprinkled over the top.
South Beach Suggestions:
Broccoli, Feta cheese, and almonds are all great low choices for a low-glycemic eating plan, and this salad would be good for any phase of the South Beach Diet. Due to the amount of fat I might consider this a "once-in-a-while-treat" and I wouldn't have nuts for a snack on the day you have the salad.
More Tasty Salad Ideas with Broccoli:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Spicy Broccoli-Jicama Salad with Red Bell Pepper and Black Sesame Seeds from Kalyn's Kitchen
Asian Chopped Salad with Broccoli Stems, Sugar Snap Peas, Radishes, Red Cabbage, and Almonds from Kalyn's Kitchen
Fresh Broccoli Salad with Tomatoes, Black Olives, and Feta from One Perfect Bite
Broccoli Salad with Bacon and Raisins from Pinch My Salt
Chopped Broccoli Salad with Tahini Soy Dressing from Family Fresh Cooking
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)