Sunday, May 26, 2013

Barely Blanched Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad with Red Bell Pepper, Radishes, Red Onion, and Cashews

Barely Blanched Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad
Barely Blanched Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad with Red Bell Pepper, Radishes Red Onion, and Cashews would be a great meatless contribution for a summer pot-luck.

Memorial Day means the unofficial beginning of summer in the U.S., or as I like to think of it, the beginning of Salad Season!  I love those warm summer days when a big plate of salad seems like the perfect lunch, and I'm always looking for ideas for my next salad creation.  This Barely Blanched Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad with Red Bell Pepper, Radishes Red Onion, and Cashews was inspired by a salad I bookmarked years ago on a blog that's no longer posting.  I changed it quite a bit from the original salad and it took me a couple of tries to get it right, but I love all these ingredients and this final version of the salad is definitely a keeper.

If you're going to any kind of Memorial Day pot-luck, this salad would make a perfect Meatless Monday offering to take along.  I think there are lots of other crunchy veggies that would work here, so have fun with this one!  (You can find more meatless recipes by using the label Meatless Monday or checking Vegetarian Recipes in the recipe index, and I'm also doing a meatless slow cooker recipe each Monday on Slow Cooker from Scratch. For more Meatless Monday ideas from other bloggers, check Meatless Monday at BlogHer, where I write a weekly post spotlighting one of the fabulous meatless recipe ideas I find around the web.)

Cut broccoli and cauliflower into small flowerets, enough for about 4 cups each.

Slice radishes, cut red bell peppers into short strips, and finely chop the red onion.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, then add the broccoli and cauliflower and cook 1-2 minutes (depending on how crisp you like it.)  Immediately drain the veggies and rinse with very cold water.

When the broccoli and cauliflower is well-drained, put in a salad bowl and toss with the radishes, red pepper strips, and red onion.

Stir the cream cheese with a whisk until it's softened, and then whisk in the Ranch Dressing, dill weed, and Spike Seasoning.

Toss the salad with desired amount of dressing, depending on how moist you prefer your salads.

Then add the chopped cashews and toss again.  Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper and serve right away.

Barely Blanched Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad with Red Bell Pepper, Radishes, Red Onion, and Cashews
(Makes about 8 servings; recipe inspired by a salad I bookmarked years ago on a blog that's no longer posting.)

4 cups small broccoli flowerets
4 cups small cauliflower flowerets
1 red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed and cut into small thin strips
1 bunch radishes, thickly sliced (about 12-14 radishes)
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion (or sliced green onion)
3/4 cup coarsely chopped cashews

Dressing Ingredients:
4 oz. low fat cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup low-fat Ranch Dressing (homemade or bottled ranch)
1/2 tsp. dill weed
1/2 tsp. Spike Seasoning

Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil while you cut the broccoli and cauliflower into small bite-sized flowerets.  When water boils, add the vegetables, bring back to a low boil, and cook 1-2 minutes (test a piece to see how crunchy you want it.)  Immediately drain the vegetables into a colander placed in the sink and rinse with very cold water.  Let the broccoli and cauliflower drain well while you prep the other ingredients.

Clean and slice the radishes.  Cut out the stem and seeds from the red bell pepper and cut into small thin strips.  Finely chop the red onion (or slice green onions.)  Coarsely chop the cashews.

Put the softened cream cheese into a small dish or measuring cup and whisk until it's soft, then add the Ranch dressing, dill weed, and Spike Seasoning and whisk ingredients together.

When the vegetables are well drained (blot with a paper towel if you're in a hurry) put them in bowl and toss gently with the radishes, red bell pepper strips, and red onion.  Stir in as much dressing as desired, until the salad is as moist as you'd like it.  Add cashews and toss again, season the salad with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste, and serve immediately.  (I used salted cashews so I didn't need any additional salt.)

If you're making this in advance or making more than you'll eat at once, don't add the dressing or toss with the cashews until right before you serve the salad. 

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South Beach Suggestions:
The original version of this salad used green peas, which I bet were delicious but I wanted to replace them with a low-glycemic vegetable.  With the substitution of radishes and red bell pepper, and using light cream cheese and light Ranch Dressing, this salad is suitable for any phase of the South Beach Diet 

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Meatless Salad Ideas with Broccoli:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Loaded Broccoli Salad ~ Natasha's Kitchen
Easy Thai-Flavored Raw Broccoli Salad with Red Onion, Mint, and Peanuts ~ Kalyn's Kitchen 
Honey Mustard, Broccoli, and Apple Salad ~ Joy the Baker
Barely-Blanched Broccoli Salad with Feta and Fried Almonds ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Vegan Broccoli Salad with Spicy Sesame Peanut Dressing ~ The Perfect Pantry
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!
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  1. Thanks for linking to my broccoli salad. I'm adding yours to my list of cauliflower recipes to try. I love all the colors and textures.

  2. Looks colorful and tempting.. Thanks for sharing :D

  3. Only YOU could get broccoli and cauliflower in the same bowl - and make it yummy. Another KK salad to try this summer!

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  5. I am SO ready for salad season also!! I love that the cauliflower and broccoli are slightly cooked. Sounds like my kind of salad!

  6. So glad people are liking this, as I know that broccoli and cauliflower in a salad can be a hard sell. Barely blanching the vegetables does make a lot of difference.

  7. I do like the idea of blanching the broccoli and cauliflower - takes some of the smell away - very pretty Kalyn!

  8. Thanks Jeanette. I do think raw broccoli and cauliflower wouldn't be nearly as good in this.

  9. I've been looking for vegetables salads I can keep in the fridge for the hubs to munch on during the day... This will be perfect - but, as usual, I'll make a yogurt based dressing - I'll let you know when I do (no cream cheese or ranch dressing here LOL)

  10. Katie, I added the cream cheese to make the dressing more "sticky" on he veggies, so I'd love to hear how it works with yogurt.


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