ever since i tried the greek broccoli salad over on cookie + kate’s site about 18 months ago, i’ve been totally obsessed with raw broccoli salads. previous encounters with raw broccoli in crudité trays with tubs of that white dip stuff had left me pretty unenthused about raw broccoli. turns out i just wasn’t pairing the broccoli with the right yums. because raw broccoli salad with dried cranberries and almonds? *that* i am quite enthusiastic about.
this broccoli salad is perfect for this time of year, too, as we’re not quite ready to drape our vegetables in cream and cheese and stick them in the oven for hours but it is nice to have a preview of coming flavor attractions in the form of cranberries and toasted nuts. it feels very “fall” without being heavy.
aaaaand it’s easy! since the broccoli is raw, we don’t even get any pots dirty! i have to say, i tried two different broccoli recipes recently and there was a lot of meticulous cutting and water bathing and spinning dry and other such laborious nonsense. after preparing both of these persnickety recipes, my first thought in each case was, “wait, why didn’t we just leave the broccoli raw? this would be so much better, not to mention easier, if we just embraced the crunchy goodness that is raw broccoli.”
so. that’s what we’re doing. because it’s my recipe and i said so. (but really, it’s better this way.) raw broccoli, dried cranberries, toasted sliced almonds, a bit of lemon zest and juice, a shallot, some dijon, and, of course, extra virgin olive oil. that’s it. and did i mention this broccoli salad with dried cranberries and almonds is even better the second day, when the flavors* have had a chance to meld?
*and the colors, if we’re being honest. the cranberries leave pink stains on the broccoli stalks, so if you’re making this in advance to serve to people who would mind that sort of thing, just add the cranberries in right before serving.
easy. healthy. delicious. fall flavored. make ahead friendly. is it too early to start planning your thanksgiving menu? i didn’t think so…
pairs well with
cider glazed chicken with mushrooms and butternut squash – fall means fresh apple cider and fresh apple cider means savory, delicious chicken is in our future. (it looks like dog food but i swear it’s amazing!)
baked macaroni and cheese – the light and bright flavors of this broccoli salad would be a great balance to the rich, creamy mac and cheese.
skillet pizza with mushrooms and goat cheese – how has it been so long since i made pizza in a cast iron skillet in the oven?! some kind of magic happens in there, y’all.
if you like this, you may also enjoy
kale and roasted butternut squash salad – dried cranberries and shallots are back for a repeat engagement, with their friends lemon vinaigrette and toasted nuts.
spicy roasted broccoli – because, broccoli. this time it’s coated in sesame oil and sambal oelek, tossed with garlic, and quickly broiled. this has been a favorite for years.
crunchy apple and brussels sprout salad – another perfect-for-fall salad. are you sick of dried cranberries, toasted nuts, citrus vinaigrette, and crunchy greens yet? good, me neither. (plus this one has cheddar, so it’s toootally different.)
- 2 medium heads of broccoli (about 16 oz. / 454 g.)
- 1/3 cup (29 g. / 1 oz.) sliced almonds
- 1/3 cup (44 g. / 1 ½ oz.) dried cranberries, soaked in warm water for a few minutes if they’re hard/too dried out, then drained and patted dry
- 1 small shallot, finely diced (can substitute 1 tablespoon of finely diced red onion)
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 ½ – 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- in a small jar with a tight fitting lid or small bowl, combine the zest and juice of the lemon (it’s easier to zest first, then juice). add a roughly equivalent amount of extra virgin olive oil (start with 2 ½ tablespoons) and the dijon. shake/whisk well and taste. adjust ratios if desired. set aside.
- i can never decide if i prefer to wash broccoli before or after i cut it. if you have a preference, do it that way. if not, let’s cut the broccoli into florets first, trying to follow the natural floret separations so that you minimize the tiny broccoli bits that are as much fun to clean up as glitter is. dice the stalks as well. wash the broccoli and dry it well (a salad spinner works well, alternatively, you could spread the broccoli out on a clean kitchen towel). transfer the mostly dry broccoli to a large serving bowl.
- heat a small, heavy bottom skillet dry (no oil) over medium-low heat. add the almonds and keep a close eye on them, turning them frequently. they are thin and desperate to burn if you turn your back. toast until light golden brown, 5 – 6 minutes or so (but really, watch them). remove the almonds from the pan and spread them out in a single layer so they switch from cooking to cooling as soon as possible.
- add the cranberries, shallot, and dressing to the broccoli (hold off on the almonds for a moment). toss well, making sure to distribute the dressing throughout the salad. add the almonds and toss gently (since they are thin, they are prone to breaking, which is fine and also nice to minimize). serve immediately or up to 24 hours from now. if you’re going to wait to serve the salad, it’s best to keep the cranberries separate until you’re ready to serve the salad, as they leave pink stains on the broccoli stalks.
this salad keeps well. arguably, it’s better the next day after you make it (keep the cranberries separate until serving time). store the salad/leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
please note this page contains affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase after clicking from here, i will earn a small commission from amazon at no additional charge to you. i only link to products that i use and love. thank you for supporting tasty seasons!