Broccoli and Red Pepper Salad
Prep time 20 minutes
1 large bunch of fresh broccoli or 3 cups chopped frozen broccoli
1/2 cup bottled roasted red peppers, chopped into ¼ in. pieces
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 tsp. red chili flakes
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Scant 1/8 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. butter or olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup olive oil
3 or 4 thin slices of shallot, finely diced (No shallots? Crush a clove of fresh garlic and use that.)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar
1 cup 1/2 in. cubed feta cheese
- Make the dressing by combining all the ingredients in a liquid measuring cup or jar. Set aside.
- Chop the fresh broccoli into 1 inch pieces and steam for 6 to 9 minutes, depending on whether you like slightly crunchy or fully-cooked broccoli. If using frozen broccoli, steam and then chop it into 1 inch bites after steaming. For either fresh or frozen, cool the broccoli immediately by pouring cold water over it after steaming to stop the cooking process. To further cool it, spread the broccoli pieces on a plate in a single layer with a bit of space between each piece.
- While the broccoli is steaming, place the red chili flakes, black pepper, salt, garlic powder, and sugar in a small bowl and have it ready to add to the almonds for the last 30 seconds of toasting. Toast the slivered almonds (No almonds? Pumpkin seeds work well, too.) in a dry skillet on medium heat. Stir constantly as they start to brown. In about 3 minutes, when they develop golden brown edges (or if you are using pumpkin seeds, when you start to hear them make popping sounds), add the spices and butter or oil and toss it all together. Remove from the skillet and spread them out to cool on a dinner plate.
Assemble the salad:
Spread the cooled broccoli in a wide, shallow serving dish, sprinkle the chopped roasted red peppers evenly over the broccoli, then stir the dressing and pour it over the vegetables. Toss lightly. Sprinkle the almonds and feta over the top, and if you wish, drizzle a little more olive oil over the finished dish. Cool. Good served cool but it also works well at room temperature.