This easy and nutritious crispy salad serves up broccoli, gherkins and cucumber tossed with a delicious no-mayo dressing. Whether enjoying as a picnic-friendly salad, side dish for dinner or a satisfying lunch, this veggie-heavy salad’s a winner for the balmy summer months.
This salad is also not just a treat for broccoli lovers: Convince your little picky eaters to get their daily greens by pairing it with cheesy pizza and a glass of milk.
The benefits of broccoli
Broccoli has a reputation as a superfood. It is low in calories but contains a wealth of nutrients and antioxidants. For example, one cup of broccoli has as much vitamin C as an orange! Broccoli also:
- Boosts brain health;
- Helps your heart;
- Protects against cancer; and
- Fights inflammation.
Easy does it
With each bite you take, you’ll get a tasty combo of crunchiness, crispness and tanginess. Plus, it’s so easy to make. Simply chop up your broccoli, cucumber and gherkins, mix the dressing and toss it all together. That’s it!
No-mayo salad dressing
Consider this recipe as a healthy makeover of traditional creamy mayonnaise-laden broccoli salads. The taste and flavour of the ingredients will really shine with this olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lime and garlicky dressing.
To make this tangy salad dressing, simply put it all into a mason jar with a lid and shake until combined.
This recipe tastes best after it’s been allowed to sit for the flavours to combine, preferably for a few hours.
Customise your broccoli crunch salad
Add some diced apples, dried sweet cranberries or slivers of toasted almonds in for a fun twist and a dash of colour. You could also make the salad half broccoli and half cauliflower or why not add some crispy bacon pieces to the mix?
- 700 g broccoli florets
- 230 g broccoli tender stems
- 10 small pickled gherkins
- 1 large English cucumber
- 100 ml olive oil extra virgin
- 50 ml apple cider vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- 1 lime juice and rind
- Since we are using fresh heads of broccoli for this recipe, we need to break them down into small florets.
- Florets are the flowery part of the head. We don’t want to use the trunk or large branches here, so remove any leaves or thick stems.
- Cut through the stem below the florets with the tip of a sharp knife.
- Slice off florets to break them up if they are too large.
- Turn the remaining bunch of florets upside down on your cutting board, and slice down through the middle of the stalk. Pull the two halves apart.
- Trim the larger stems off with the tip of your knife. Wash the broccoli tender stems and leave as is. Cut the stems in half also to be used for the salad.
- Put the the broccoli in boiling water for about three minutes on medium heat. Drain and let it cool before adding to your salad bowl.
- Thoroughly rinse the cucumber in cool water and remove the skin. Lay the cucumber on a cutting board and cut the cucumber in half lengthwise with a sharp knife. Gently scoop out the seeds by gliding the tip of a spoon or a butter knife across the length of the flesh. Be careful to only remove the seeds and not too much of the flesh. Slice the cucumber and add to the salad.
- Slice the gherkins and add.
- Mix carefully.
- Combine the dressing ingredients, mix well, taste and season. If needed, add more ingredients for a tangier taste.