Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad with Avocado Dressing
Broccoli and cauliflower salad with avocado dressing makes a wonderful healthy side dish for any meal, potluck or buffet. Great textures and fresh flavors.
Servings (change as needed): 8
- 1 pound broccoli and cauliflower combined (to make 4 cups chopped)
- 2 apples (no need to peel)
- ½ cup chopped toasted almonds, pecans or walnuts
- Garnish (optional); 3 tablespoons finely chopped red pepper
- 1 ripe avocado, peeled with pit discarded
- ½ cup fresh herbs, Note 1
- 1 green onion (or 2 small thin ones)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup, or more to taste (or honey)
- ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ½ lemon (lemon juice and zest) (or 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar)
- 1 teaspoon minced or grated garlic (1 garlic clove)
- ½ teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 3 tablespoons water (or more to get consistency you like)
BLANCH BROCCOLI (optional but recommended): Rinse broccoli florets or head under water, place on microwavable plate or separate bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or plate. Microwave for 2 minutes to blanch it. Then hold under cold water to stop cooking process and lock in vibrant color. You can blanch cauliflower florets at the same time if you like.
CHOP VEGETABLES: Chop broccoli, cauliflower and apples into small pieces and place in large bowl. Add any optional add-ins you like, Note 2. Set aside.
MAKE THE AVOCADO DRESSING: Place all dressing ingredients into a blender or processor. You can also use an immersion blender. Process until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Taste and adjust, adding more lemon, salt, maple syrup etc. if needed. Stir in as much water as you need to get the consistency you like e.g. 2-3 tablespoons. Note 3 for variations and substitutes.
COMBINE TO MAKE SALAD: Add most of dressing to fresh veggies and apples and mix to combine well. Add rest of dressing if needed. Spoon into a serving bowl and add toasted nuts and other garnish as you like. Serve immediately.
Nutrition values are estimates and include the veggies, apples, all the dressing and almonds.
- Herbs options: Use any combination you like - basil, parsley, cilantro, tarragon, dill, mint. If you don't have fresh herbs (or not enough), substitute with dried herbs (½ cup fresh herbs = 2 tablespoons dried or 1 Tablespoon fresh = 1 teaspoon dried).
- Variations and add-ins for salad:
- add crispy bacon pieces
- garnish with chopped red pepper for color
- skip the cauliflower
- for more texture, add jicama slivers, chopped water chestnuts or crunchy sunflower seeds.
- use purple grapes (cut in half) instead of apples
- add cranberries or finely chopped red onion
- Variations for avocado dressing
- Flavors: For Mexican flavors, try a dash of cumin and lime (instead of lemon). For more tang, add a couple of tablespoons of sour cream or Greek yogurt. Add some heat with red pepper flakes.
- Substitutes: Instead of lemon, use apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar.
- Make Ahead: I prefer this salad fresh the same day as the dressing gets absorbed by the fruit and veggies, making it a bit drier. But it can be stored in an airtight container for a day or two without turning brown.
Calories: 147kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 170mg | Potassium: 459mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 747IU | Vitamin C: 64mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 1mg