Fresh Broccoli Salad with Apricot Vinaigrette

Crisp broccoli and crunchy vegetables get tossed with sweet-tart cranberries and salty pistachios, then is tossed with a simple apricot vinaigrette that ties it all together. This salad—with countless variations—will be a new summer standard.

broccoli salad with apricot2

Fresh Broccoli Salad with Apricot Vinaigrette

For the salad:
6 cups (1440mL) broccoli florets
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 bulb fennel, thinly sliced
1/2 cup (120mL) dried cranberries
1/4 cup (60mL) salted, dry roasted pistachios

For the vinaigrette:
1/4 cup (60mL) apricot preserves
3 tablespoons (45mL) cider vinegar
1 tablespoon (15mL) extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea or Himalayan salt, to taste
Red pepper flakes, to taste

Put the broccoli, red pepper, fennel, onion, cranberries, and pistachios in a large bowl. Toss to combine.

Put the apricot preserves, olive oil, and cider vinegar in a small bowl. Whisk to combine, seasoning with salt and red pepper flakes to taste. Pour the vinaigrette over the broccoli mixture. Toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.


Chilled Spring Pea and Tarragon Soup

This soup actually takes just a few moments, but pushing it through the sieve takes a little longer. Have a bit of patience if you want something silky smooth, but if you like the texture, just omit that step. In any event, sweet peas and floral tarragon shine bright in a creamy springtime soup that’s superb served warm or chilled.

This recipe was made for one of my workshops I run at Della Terra.


Chilled Spring Pea and Tarragon Soup

4 tablespoons Tarragon Olive Oil, divided, plus more for serving
1 bunch (about 7) green onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Premium White Balsamic Vinegar
6 cups fresh or frozen green peas
3 cups water
Fine sea or Himalayan salt to taste
Ground white pepper to taste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Fresh tarragon, for serving

Heat 2 tablespoons of the Tarragon Olive Oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the green onions and garlic. Cook until softened, about 3 minutes.

Add the Premium White Balsamic Vinegar, bring to medium-high heat, and cook until reduced to half, about 1 minute.

Add the peas, water, a few dashes of salt and white pepper. Reduce to low heat, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth, drizzling in the remaining Tarragon Olive Oil and lemon juice while blending. Press through a fine sieve to strain, if desired.

Refrigerate until serving. Garnish with fresh tarragon and additional olive oil before serving.

Grilled Romaine Salad with Sundried Tomato Vinaigrette

Grilled lettuce and greens might seem a little out of the ordinary if you’ve never done it before, but trust me, it’s the best way to enjoy salad in the summer. I’ve done a Grilled Caesar Salad before, which is what got me started with this salad-on-the-grill kick. The vinaigrette can be made in advance, and makes about double what you need; store the leftovers in a covered jar in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Grilled Romaine with Sundried Tomato Vin

Grilled Romaine Salad with Sundried Tomato Vinaigrette

For the salad
1/4 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil, preferably medium intensity
1 large red onion, cut into 1-inch rings
4 roma tomatoes, halved length-wise
2 romaine hearts, halved length-wise
Fine sea or Himalayan salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup (80mL) pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon (15mL) capers

For the dressing
1/4 cup thinly sliced sundried tomatoes (not oil-packed)
Boiling water for tomatoes
1/4 cup (60mL) good quality, low acid traditional balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, finely grated
1/4 cup (60mL) good quality extra-virgin olive oil, preferably medium intensity

To make the salad, brush olive oil on the cut sides of the onion, tomato and romaine hearts. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Heat the grill to medium high heat. Put the red onion, tomatoes, and romaine on the grill. Cook for about 5 minutes per side, keeping a close eye and checking the underside of each one to ensure it is grilled, but not charring.

Remove from heat. Put the vegetables on a serving platter. Sprinkle with olives and capers. Let sit while making the dressing.

Put the sundried tomatoes in a small bowl. Cover with the boiling water and let sit for about 5 minutes, until softened. Drain, then finely chop. Put that tomatoes back in the bowl and add the balsamic vinegar and garlic. Mix to combine. Add the oil in a stream, mixing constantly, to emulsify the mixture. Pour over the salad ingredients. Serve immediately.