Monday, February 1, 2010

Faux Summer/Broccoli Slaw

One of my favorite things about cooking is that no matter how cold it is outside, inside I can always pretend it's summer. No, I don't have juicy peaches, ultra sweet heirloom tomatoes or melt-in-your-mouth zucchini, but aside from a few missing ingredients it's pretty easy to recreate summery thoughts of tank tops, sunset barbecues, and toes in the sand. My desire to emulate summer vibes is the official reason I made this broccoli slaw yesterday. The unofficial reason is that yesterday was January 31st, aka the end of the month, which means one thing: the only food I'm eating is what I have in the fridge and pantry. As a food blogger, this can be a little bit tricky, but I was impressed with my resourcefulness vis-a-vis available ingredients.
I am surprised I ever made this slaw, because when I first saw this recipe the only thing I could think was "ew, raw broccoli."Then came January 31st and I had the broccoli and the other ingredients in my fridge and suddenly making this summery slaw seemed beyond perfect. Although I am still trying to figure out what makes a slaw a slaw, the one thing I am certain about is that I will definitely be making this slaw again once summer finally rolls around. It seems to me that this slaw belongs as a side dish at a barbecue (or clam bake), mounded on top of a char-grilled burger or eaten plain for a quick lunch. No matter how you serve it, it will be just right.
Even if you don't think you like raw broccoli, give this slaw a try because it definitely converted me. The florets practically absorb the dressing, which masks any bitterness and emphasizes the green broccoli flavor I love so much. The stems add an extra bit of crunch, as if the toasted almonds weren't crunchy enough. Seriously, this slaw is all about texture and it definitely does not skimp on that front. Then again, there's also the dressing, which I am pretty tempted to make in bulk and drizzle over everything. It's creamy, but not overbearingly so, tangy without making your tongue hurt and spicy enough to be noted, but not so hot that tears will run down your face. Unless they are tears of joy of course, which may just appear after your first bite. In the meantime try not to cry over the never-ending winter; just turn up the heat, wear a tank top and make some summery dishes at home. It's a fun, easy and tasty escape.

Broccoli Slaw
(adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

2 heads of broccoli, shredded
1/2 c. slivered or crushed almonds, toasted and cooled

1/2 c. yogurt
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
1/4 c. white wine vinegar
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. sriracha (or other hot sauce, adding more of less depending on your taste)
1 shallot, finely chopped

1) Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing (yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, hot sauce, and shallot).
2) Toss together the broccoli, almonds and dressing making sure the whole thing is well coated.
3) Set in the fridge and wait a few hours before serving to make sure the flavors really meld. This will keep in the fridge for a few days.

• I used a mix of almonds and sunflower seeds because it's what I had on hand.
• The original recipe calls for the addition of 1/3 c. dried cranberries, which I imagine would be good although it's not really up my alley; if it's up your alley, go for it.


Jac said...

I know I'll be looking forward to summer. I will most definitely attend the clam bake that serves this slaw!

carolyn said...

Must be in the air. I have had crazy cravings for broccoli slaw. Thanks for convincing me it's ok not to wait for warmer temps to enjoy this!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this recipe. I really feel hungry!


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Stefi Lara said...

you would be silly to wait until Summer to make this amazing dish...