1 September 2008

Autumn Broccoli & Apple Salad

When did the season change? There is definitely something in the air that tells me that fall has arrived. The leaves have not started to turn colour, nor have the days become cold but there is something in the air nevertheless. Perhaps it is the fact that it is dark when I get up in the morning and the last rays of sun duck behind the mountains much earlier. So what is it? The nights are definitely cooler and the air just has that autumn scent. The farmers markets and fruit stands are overflowing with copious amounts of late summer fruits and vegetables. Autumn is my favourite time of the year, so, perhaps I am hurrying it along a little. For every leaf that turns its autumn hue to the cloudless skies and for every whisper of a cooling breeze my heart skips a beat.

Autumn is a time for change. Mother nature puts everything to a dreamless sleep waiting for Spring to come again. As you know I worked at a camp for disabled and mentally challenged children over the summer which in itself was a very rewarding experience. Now a new chapter begins at a new doctors office working in the field of opthalmology. It may seem like a new beginning but it feels more like coming home and settling into a comforting job that I enjoy after a long absense. Something like renewing a friendship with an old friend whom I haven't seen in years.

So in the theme of comfort I am submitting this delicious salad to this months vegetarian blogging event No Croutons Required . The founders of this event are the talented duo Holler of Tinned Tomatoes and fellow Canadian Lisa of Lisa's Kitchen. Each month they are looking for our vegetarian soups or salads with the theme for this month being FRUIT. Both of these ladies follow a vegetarian and healthy lifestyle which is evident in each of their feature stories. They have heard me say this before but they are both such sweeties that I have to participate in their event as often as I can...and I will say it again!!

In this recipe I steamed the broccoli for a very short period of time. You are welcome to keep the broccoli raw but I find that sometimes the broccoli will have a slightly bitter taste that steaming seems to eliminate. The added bonus of steaming is that it gives the broccoli a gorgeous bright green hue. So welcome home with a broccoli salad.......................

**Autumn Broccoli & Apple Salad**

1 head of broccoli
1 carrot, diced
1/2 red pepper (purple, yellow or green would be fine)
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
1 Granny Smith apple, diced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
3/4 cup fat-free plain yogurt
1-1/2 tsp sugar
1-1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
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Bring a large pot of water, salted with a teaspoon of salt, to a boil. Add the broccoli florets. Cook 1-2 minutes, depending on how crunchy you want the broccoli. 1 minute will turn the broccoli bright green, and leave it still pretty crunchy. 2 minutes will cook the broccoli through, but still firm. Set your timer and do not cook for more than 2 minutes, or the broccoli will get mushy. Drain the broccoli and immediately put into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Let cool and drain. Dice broccoli stems and all.
In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, carrot, green or red peppers, apple, cranberries and onion. In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, yogurt, sugar, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Pour over salad; toss to coat. Just before serving, sprinkle with toasted almonds.
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23 comments:

  1. Oh, Valli! I am 100% with you on loving autumn. It's the best season we have here! We don't get all the red maples like they do back east, but the smell of moss and wild mushrooms completely invigorates me.

    I love this perfect fall salad you made. It's a great way to enjoy some of the best vegetables of the harvest!

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  2. Hmm, I'm thinking of trying this. It sounds like a great way to get some broccoli into a meal (even for people who might not be crazy about broccoli, by which I do not mean myself, I mean other people, but let's just leave those other people nameless :-).

    Anyway, I do have a question. Do you use the stems in this? It seems like they'd take longer than two minutes to cook, unless perhaps you diced them?

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  3. fabulous looking salad! i love fruit and veggies together!

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  4. Val, I like the combination of your salad and I am tempted to make it. The weather has changed here as well and it rained on Sunday and the weather is much cooler now. Good luck with your new job.

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  5. Val! This salad sounds incredible---I hadn't thought of steaming the broccoli for a salad before, but you are so right! I do love it raw, but slightly cooked is even better. And with apples? Yum. Beautiful, beautiful dish, Valli. :)

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  6. Oh goody. Such good things in here! and it uses the broccoli stems!!
    I only wish there were some fall in the air here, maybe in another month.

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  7. Val, I adore broccoli salad - and love the fruity addition to this.

    Your post has made the passing of summer not seem so bad :)

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  8. Wow sounds healthy and sounds gr8. Refreshing salad. U r having a rocking blog. First time here. Very yummy blog.

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  9. Autumn is my favourite time of the year too. This salad looks perfect. I don't usually put brocolli in salad but have seen it in a few recipes recently so will have to try it

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  10. Our season hasn't changed yet, but this looks lovely and makes me look forward to the change!

    Cheers to fall!

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  11. This salad has got it all: salty, sweet, crunchy, creamy. It would be a big hit at my house, (although my husband would probably try to sneak in some pistachios). ;)

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  12. I love brocolli, but have never even considered them raw. Live and learn :)

    I hated the weather when I was in the UK, but now I would give anything, uhm quite a lot, for seasons. It's summer all year round here. It has been raining a lot, so this is as close as it's going to get to Autumn.

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  13. It's supposed to get very cool this week here in Kansas City---from the upper 80's & 90's over this past weekend to 60 degrees F tomorrow. Big shock, but this broccoli & apple salad sounds like the perfect dish to usher in autumn temps, plus it's a nice change of pace from my stand-by broccoli salad. Thanks for sharing.

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  14. Oooh, I'm in the mood for autumn now! I think I used to hate fall, just because it meant going back to school, but now I like it.

    The salad sounds great. Healthy and packed full of veggies.

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  15. Thanks for this mouthwatering entry Val! Holler and I are always thrilled when you participate in our event. And I'll say it again too, I think you are a sweetie!

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  16. It's my favorite time of year! This is a beautiful salad Val.

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  17. Mmm looks like a perfect crunchy salad! The weather has been so weird. We barely had any days of it being too hot and now it's just pretty cold all the time. But I love autumn so I'm not really complaining.

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  18. I love autumn... but it seems so unfair that it is descending on us without London really having had a summer! I think we had one warm week, and last Saturday was sunny. That was largely it! Still, this crunchy salad could cheer me up...

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  19. Does not feel like autumn around here. I miss the real Quebec autumn days. This is a nice salad for a change.

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  20. It really has a nip in the air and autumn is here in the U.K. Terrific looking salad Val and very healthy too :)

    Rosie x

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  21. I can't wait for the Autumn too!!! I love it :D. I know what you mean when you say that there's something in the air... I can smell it too :D

    But here, it takes too long to show... these days is being far too hot again!

    I've never put broccoli in a salad... good idea!

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  22. Great salad Val and granny smiths are Graham's favourite apple! Thank you for contributing it :)

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  23. Another lover of Fall here, there was broccoli at the farmers market yesterday. I will definitely be picking some up next week along with apples ... this is yummy!

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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