Sweet and Sour Broccoli Cashew Salad

Let’s talk about broccoli.  It’s the stuff of many a child’s nightmares– and probably more adults than you think, too.  But here’s the thing– broccoli is good.  Like, really good.  And it’s healthy (yay cancer-fighting compounds)!  And you’re eating tiny trees!  AND it’s in season right now.  AND AND AND you should just eat it.

Steamy greens :)

Steamy greens 🙂

I have a confession to make: sometimes when I get home from a long day, I don’t feel like cooking.  Earth shattering, I know. I really enjoy cooking, and it’s often a way to unwind, but sometimes, it’s just a big no.  Especially after a night class.  First time, last time (but actually last time because it’s my last semester of law school whatttt).  This recipe is a recipe for that kind of night.  It takes just a few minutes and requires seriously MINIMAL effort, but it still tastes interesting, and feels like you’ve put at least a little effort into dinner.  Those are definitely the best kinds of recipes: high on impressive tastiness, low on effort.  Also the sweet and sour sauce gives it an Asian vibe and there will never be a cuisine genre more delicious.  I really wish I were better at Asian cooking, but I don’t let that stop me and BF’s not complaining, so onward we will march.

Hello, pretty reflecting pond of deliciousness.  I love you forever.

Hello, pretty reflecting pond of deliciousness. I love you forever.

The beauty of this recipe is that you can put pretty much any crunchy vegetable you like in there.  But keep it crunchy!  Don’t do any more than a slight blanch when prepping your veggies.  And if you’re not a broccoli fan (I know you guys are out there), at least give this a shot.  I’m a lifelong broccoli lover, but I feel like even the most dedicated of haters would have no choice but to love this recipe!

Broccoli Salad

How could you not love those big puppy dog…stalks? I don’t know. This didn’t work. Anyway, it looks like it tastes good. That was my point.

Sweet and Sour Broccoli Salad (adapted from 1-2 Simple Cooking)

  • Sweet and Sour Sauce, recipe below
  • 3 small Broccoli crowns, cut into florets
  • 1 T. Sesame Oil
  • Sesame Seeds
  • 3/4 c. unsalted roasted Cashews
  • Scallions, sliced

Blanch broccoli florets for just a minute or two, and drain.  Stir all ingredients together, adding scallions, sesame seeds, and sauce to taste.

Sweet and Sour Sauce

  • 1 T. low-sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 T. Hoisin Sauce
  • 1 T. Rice Vinegar
  • 1 t. Sriracha
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 3 T. Sugar

Combine all ingredients well.

Note: All measurements are approximate, and will get you about what you need for the broccoli salad.  I started with a basic recipe and then got creative according to my own tastes– you should do the same!  Mine involved a splash of fish sauce, more hoisin, and LOTS more sriracha because I can’t help myself.

Broccoli Salad

I have to say, this recipe went over better than expected.  I sort of thought it would be fine but nothing special, and was very pleasantly surprised at how much we both loved it!  Will definitely be making this again, with different crunchy veggies (thinking red peppers and cabbage…) and a ceaselessly tweaked sauce– mostly because I never write anything down so every time I try to replicate a sauce I’m starting from scratch.  A pain, perhaps, but it’s also a pretty fun way to spend your time.  Applications for my official sauce-taster are now being accept and will be reviewed on a rolling basis.  Bribes are much appreciated/encouraged.