This is a beautiful salad with a silky Asian flavoured dressing which makes it a great accompaniment to most meals. I usually don't like using mayonnaise in salads but it did work in this one and since I just used a little more than a couple of tablespoons, it didn't overwhelm the other flavours. In summer, I would replace the mayonnaise with feta cheese and a couple of more spoons of sesame oil.
You can see cherry tomatoes in the picture because my daughter insisted on putting them in, but I don't include it usually since it gets a bit pulpy as compared to the other crisp vegetables. The almonds could also be toasted instead of being fried. The broccoli almond combination was inspired by this recipe from Kalyn's blog though the dressing is somewhat different from the one she has used.
Broccoli, Bell Pepper and Lettuce Salad with Fried Almonds
Broccoli - 1 medium separated into florets
Red Bell Pepper - 1
Green Bell pepper - 1
Yellow Bell Pepper - 1
peppers to be deseeded and sliced thinly
Lettuce leave s-4-5 torn
Olive oil - 1 tsp
Almonds - 1/2 cup, peeled and sliced thinly
Garlic - 2 minced
Ginger - 1" minced
Rice wine vinegar - 1 tsp
Soya sauce - 1 tsp
Chilli sauce - 1 tsp
Sesame oil - 4 tsp
Mayonnaise - 3 tbsp
1. Bring water to boil in a big vessel and blanch broccoli florets for 3 minutes, remove and cool
2. In the same boiling water, blanch the slices of pepper for a minute.
3. Crush the garlic and ginger along with the salt. In a bowl, mix the crushed ginger, garlic with vinegar, soya, chilli sauce and sesame oil.
4. Mix in the mayonnaise and beat; keep aside for 15 minutes.
5. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a small pan and fry the sliced almonds for 3-4 minutes till it is just changing colour and a bit crisp = it burns easily, so take care. Cool and toss with a pinch of salt.
6. In a salad bowl, Mix the blanched broccoli florets, sliced pepper, lettuce leaves and half of the fried almonds.
7. Toss with a little more than half of the dressing and then if needed, add the remaining dressing.
8. Garnish with the remaining fried almonds and serve immediately.
This salad was my only contribution to a barbeque evening one of our friends had arranged at our place in early December - he is a good cook and had marinated the mutton mince for the seeksh kababs and chicken tikkas perfectly with just the right amount of spices. The kababs were great with that distinctive smoky flavour and the warmth from the grill was comforting against the chill of that evening outside.
A beautiful baby spinach, cottage cheese and walnut salad made by my friend A who lives upstairs - never fails to please. The dressing is simple - olive oil, balsamic vinegar and crushed pepper - and the cottage cheese is marinated in it as well before being tossed with the other ingredients. Some wine and cheese completed the evening.